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Addressing the Need for Textbooks

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Technology
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July 5, 2016

One thing I hear from schools all the time is that they need textbooks. With the hits school budgets have been taking, schools haven’t had the money to adopt new textbooks, and now the textbook fund has been completely zeroed out.

Textbooks are EXPENSIVE! Whether you’re buying a traditional book or online curriculum, it can cost your district and arm and a leg just to get materials students and teachers need. So how do we move forward? Teachers don’t have the time to write their own curriculum from the ground up.

There are a lot of different options, and I’d love to talk to you about them. But the one I want to highlight today is CK12. CK12 started in California in 2007 by creating open-source textbooks and began making them available online for educators.

CK12 has some amazing features. First of all, it's all free. Free textbooks! You can go online and create a teacher account and then begin making your own textbooks.

Their site has a section that allows you to select the state you live in, the subject you teach and the grade level you teach. It will then provide a textbook aligned to state standards. You can then print that textbook out or share it digitally with your students. Students can even create accounts and get interactive lessons and simulations in the curriculum.

Another great feature of CK12 is the ability to create flexbooks. What this allows you to do is to pick and choose which standards are a part of your book, meaning you can direct the flow and path the curriculum takes. These books can be downloaded as PDF, shared online with students or printed out. It becomes your book, and you have control!

I think this is a great tool that you and your school should definitely be checking out. I have other content resources as well that I’d be happy to share with you and your school. Also, if CK12 is something you’re interested in, I’d be happy to come out and provide training to your teachers on how to get the most out of this free tool!

Please contact me with any questions you might have.

About the Author

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Ben Parker

Director, Technology

Ben serves as Director of Technology for the OPSRC. In this role, he will provide support to schools on technical issues and training on pressing technology topics. Ben will assist partner schools with trainings, comprehensive technology plans, e-Rate applications, technology purchasing consultation, and other school and district technology decisions.

Prior to working with OPSRC, Ben was the Director of Technology for the Locust Grove Public School District. Ben implemented a 1:1 tablet program in Locust Grove that saw 6th-12th graders go paperless in the classroom.

In his free time, Ben likes to read and play the drums.

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