Question: What’s eight pounds, distributed by teachers every year and a cause of early-onset scoliosis?
The answer: textbooks. Last month, Duncan posted on Twitter saying, “[W]e’re spending $7-9B each year on textbooks that are obsolete the day we buy them. Why?” That’s a great question, Mr. Secretary.
Though tradition urges us to latch onto the familiarity of printed textbook learning, this method has shown to be an outdated practice for some time. How can one expect a single textbook to accommodate the individual learning needs of a classroom full of 30 students? Furthermore, how do textbooks facilitate collaboration, innovation and the learning of 21st century digital citizenship skills that our children need to succeed?
The fact is that digital learning provides a more well-rounded experience that is better aligned to the ever-evolving demands of the modern classroom. While textbooks limit students and teachers to an isolated learning environment, digital resources serve as an empowering force, giving people access to a wealth of tools, content and knowledge from a variety of sources. If you need a second opinion, just ask South Korea who has its sights set on eliminating printed textbooks entirely by 2015. Globally ranked second in education (compared to the U.S. in 17th), Korea will be transitioning material to a digital cloud for ultimate learning mobility. Mobility, collaboration, and globalization are all on the table as classrooms move toward digitalization. Though South Korea’s push may sound a bit aggressive, they’re on the right track. Let’s hope that the rest of us are not too far behind.
As South Korea and other nations undergo this shift, it becomes more important that teachers unite to find high quality content. Anticipating this need, one of UClass‘ biggest priorities since Day 1 has been to ensure that our platform serves resources that inspire student performance and achieve the best outcomes. If the content space is to truly be democratized, teachers and classrooms must pool together their knowledge and experience and tap into the global opportunity. UClass is the first-ever global lesson exchange, where teachers swap their best lessons and make money for sharing them.
Say goodbye to scoliosis and overweight textbook budgets. In a single click, teachers can now grab Common Core lessons, build unit playlists and engage their students in collaboration. Help us say farewell to the antiquated systems of yesterday by planning your first lesson on UClass today.