Guest author April Cullom from Cullom’s Corner shares her experiences using digital textbooks in the classroom – the pros, cons, and everything between.
The Social Studies Department at my school decided two years ago to adopt new textbooks. Ultimately the district decided to purchase digital textbook licenses for our students instead of physical textbooks. Having worked with digital textbooks for two years now, I can definitely say there are good and bad aspects to this choice. Check out my Good, Bad, & Ugly lists below:
Digital Textbooks: The Good
Digital Textbooks: The Bad
Digital Textbooks: The Ugly
5. It took me 1 1/2 years to finally get access to one of my digital textbooks. During this time, my students were not able to have a textbook to take home. I spent MANY hours trouble-shooting with the textbook company and my Administration ultimately had to get involved because we were not able to access the product we had paid for. We finally figured out that it was a technical glitch in how the publisher had put us into the system. Boy, was this fun!As you can tell, there are definitely great aspects of digital textbooks but there are always going to be the downsides as well.
I don’t discourage anyone from purchasing them but I do think you need to be aware of the challenges and don’t think you can go completely digital at this time. You will definitely want to purchase SOME physical textbooks for those without Internet or for times when technology fails.
We often times think that technology will solve all our problems when in reality, there are always going to be issues but they will just present themselves in a different way. So don’t expect digital textbooks to solve your problems but don’t be hesitant to give them a try and see the benefits they can provide for you and your students.
April Cullom has been teaching high school social studies for 10 years. She teaches 10th grade Colonial U.S. History, 12th grade U.S. Government, & 12th grade Advanced Placement United States Government & Politics. She resides near Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, James. She recently started her own blog, Cullom Corner, and Teachers Pay Teachers Store, Cullom Corner. You can also connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.