Originally posted at TeachPaperless.
My students have digital textbooks for several of their classes, including my social studies class. These texts are basically pdf files of the book, with a much more confusing navigation. I’m not a big fan of textbooks, and we rarely use them in class. I prefer to have my students doing their own research, or creating a product, rather than reading a textbook.
Today I asked them what they think a digital text should include. These were some of their ideas:
- Links to sources (My students want the author’s sources so they can check the reliability of the textbook, or do further investigation.)
- Activities they can download
- Intuitive navigation (like a web page)
- Loads quickly
- Customizable fonts
- Adjustable page size
- Links to sites of experts on the topic
- Question and answer section where they can post and respond
- Live chat with other students and recognized experts
- Rollover of terms to see the definition
- Linked table of contents
- Printable pages
- Voice controls (They are 7th graders.)
These ideas would make the text more of an interactive web site than a text book.
Note to publishers: That is a good thing.