On this blog and elsewhere, I have talked extensively about the need to differentiate instruction, the inefficacy of textbooks in doing that, and the potential of mobile technology to make a huge difference.
Recently, the Indiana State Board of Education issued “An Open Letter to Indiana Educators about Textbooks, Computers and Instructional Materials” (worth a read if you haven’t already) that said essentially that textbooks are not effective or engaging. It went on to encourage schools to pursue technology-based or other instructional materials in lieu of textbooks and to request waivers to use textbook funding for this purpose. They even specifically mention “content-loaded mini-laptops.”
This is a very bold and laudable step. I hope that schools will take advantage of this and that other states will follow suit.