Monday, May 11, 2009

Digital Textbooks

(image from

I just read an interesting post by Ryan Bretag on his Metanoia site. Ryan is a fellow TL Advisor and Blogger and is an Instructional Technology Coordinator in Illinois. 

Ryan has a student advisory group that gives him feedback on educational technology and one of the things they mentioned is that schools need to be more green and stop using so much paper. They also feel that printed textbooks are outdated and a waste. They feel that eTexts are a better idea and that schools should look at laptops for each student with the curriculum loaded on. When Ryan told them that not every textbook is available in e-form, they stated that it didn't matter because "everything they need is on the internet." The students do acknowledge the limitation since not all students have a computer at home.

I have to agree that textbooks are becoming obselete. I have a huge number of physics textbooks in great condition. The problem is that the books are 17 years old and outdated.

I have found many great online resources and share them with my students. They use these resources to help them study and understand concepts. It would be very easy for me to switch to e-texts only. Next year I will be working to limit how many handouts students receive alos and try to do more and more electronically.

Here is the list of Physics e-resources:

1. The Physics Classroom - great online resource with lessons and examples - 

2. Physics Lessons - interactive virtual labs and demos -

3. Free Physics Textbook - downloadable physics text in pdf format -

4. FHSST Physics - online high school physics text -

6. Online Physics Study Guide -

Here are two great resources I use with my EMT-B class:
EMT-B online -

All of the students also have access to my class website. This site has links, study guides, lesson presentation notes, and much more for them. This site is their starting site for their online work.

These are great resources that my students use. I truly feel that they could replace the printed textbook with these resources. And, there are many more resources out there for them.


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