Is Digital Democratic?

images.jpgFOR SEVERAL DECADES, textbook publishers followed the same basic model: Pitch a hefty tome of knowledge to faculty for inclusion in lesson plans; charge students an equally hefty sum; revise and update its content as needed every few years. Repeat. But the last several years have seen a shift at colleges and universities—one that has more recently turned tectonic.

In a way, the evolution of the textbook has mirrored that in every other industry. Ownership has given way to rentals, and analog to digital. Within the broad strokes of that transition, though, lie divergent ideas about not just what learning should look like in the 21st century but how affordable to make it. …

This article in Wired Magazine  by Brian Barrett develops and comments on the recent transformation of school textbooks.

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Erasing U. S. History

Texas It has been a concern for years and I have tried to spread the warning in earlier posts, but here we go again.

Texas represents two major themes in this controversy. First, being the second most populist state in the union, Texas commands a major role in the content and publication of learning materials, not just in Texas, but throughout the country: after all, publishers don’t want to lose profits by printing one textbook for Texas and another for the rest of the United States.

I didn't read in my history textbook about the Japanese
internment until I was about to graduate from college (and even
then the book we used was banned from the public High Schools).
The irony here is that my father enjoyed dividing his time between
his lounge chair and taking long drives all over the southwest.
I had seen the remains of the internment camps and was aware of
the fact that my country wasn't always exceptional .. or even
admirable.

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