Textbooks with online resources have added ways for students to study, complete homework, and participate in other educational activities.
Social Studies department head Kelli Kurle purchased new Psychology and World Regional Studies books this year. These textbook are supplemented online with quizzes, flashcards, simulations, and definitions, but the text itself is not online. Kurle believes that having a textbook with an online resource is beneficial to students.
“I think that anything extra you can get is good,” said Kurle. “Anytime you can hear it, read it, see it more than once is going to help students out as far as retaining the information.”
The psychology textbook website is relatively easy to navigate through according to Kurle. The website enables teachers and students to communicate through notes.
“I can make an assignment online and [students] can go and make a note on [the assignment],” Kurle said. “Then I could read [the note] and write another note, so it’s interactive in that way.”
Along with Social Studies, the Science department has transitioned towards online resources. Science department head Cole Ogdon purchased new Physics, Chemistry and Biology textbooks. Unlike the Social Studies department, the Science department was able to pilot the Physics and Biology books for one semester. However, the Chemistry book was not piloted due to budget restrictions. The website has many ways to study, like the online quizzes.[media-credit name=”Meghan Shirling | Harbinger Online” align=”alignright” width=”220″][/media-credit]“Since the students can do [quizzes] at home, we don’t have to waste class time,” Ogdon said. “For [the quizzes], you can take them as many times as you want.”
The website also offers video clips, links, and tutorials. Although the website provides many resources, there are downsides to the website.
“You’d like to think it’s only pros, but the cons can be their website not working, or a computer not working,” Ogdon said. “I mean when your stuck on [the computer], there’s nothing you can really do about it.”
The Spanish department has had online resources with their textbooks since 2007. Department chair Linda Sieck is a huge advocate of online textbooks. Spanish levels I, II and III all have online and hardcopy resources.
Not only are the full textbooks online, but there are flashcards, practice quizzes, listening activities and games involving each lesson. They are also able to access another practice website through the textbook website.
“One of the best things about it is that [the textbook] is one less book in a kid’s backpack,” Sieck said. “They don’t have to worry about bringing it to class or forgetting it at school.”
Sieck says the biggest con of the online textbook is that students do not take advantage of it. Even though, the website is very easy to maneuver through and access.