Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Positive Steps In Leveraging Technology

Recently at a Hillsboro School District Curriculum committee meeting, it was mentioned that science textbooks in the district had not been updated since 1997.  This got me a little worried, especially after I did some research online and found that some new online texts had been approved by the state in 2009 for local districts.    So I emailed the adminstration for more details... and was pleasantly surprised by the answer.   Basically, they didn't adopt the online texts because they saw no need to pay money for something being provided so widely for free. 

If you haven't been following this area, there is an amazing amount of free educational content available these days on the web.   You probably know that I'm a big fan of free online educational resources, having been making my own small contribution through my podcast over the past few years.  HSD sent me a presentation they had given to teachers in the district on the many online education resources available, such as,,, etc.   Their presentation frankly admits "We're behind... we need to lead."

There are no statistics available on our district's actual usage of such resources at this stage.  But I'm hoping that as teachers do examine these resources and become more comfortable with them, the district will be able to look across-the-board at phasing out expensive textbook purchases in favor of online sources.  Most texbooks are insanely expensive, and we may find that providing every student with an e-reader is a lot more cost-effective in the long run than buying them.   This also is a great end-run around the slow, politicized state-level approval process that ensures mediocre but high-priced textbooks as the standard.  


  1. Dr, King had a dream where race didn't matter in our society; where black children and white children would play together. In many parts of our society, that's happening naturally. But some folks - often brandishing Dr. King's memory - promote racism of another, preventing his dream from being fulfilled.

    The theory is absurd, and the school district should be embarrassed for even considering it. Those who support it should be removed. It is wrong; it is counterproductive and it is hateful.

  2. Thanks for the comment! But I assume you meant this one to apply to my other post on Critical Race Theory, rather than this one on adopting technology. :-)