Wednesday, August 29, 2007

U.S. History - Digital Alternatives

Instead of buying the bound version of a U.S. History textbook, how about using some digital alternatives? Better yet, how about the real possibility of having students create their own history book using NoteShare or some other Web 2.0 tool?

WikiBooks: U.S. History

Digital History
1899 U.S. History Textbook

American History 102 - 1865 - Present
American Memory
A People's History of the U.S. - 1492 - Present
Primary Source Resources

Tools for Student Collaboration in Book Creation:

NoteShare Resources
Wiki Resources


Suppose it could work? What would the issues be?


diane-fhs said...

I've been thinking about that ever since the MLTI conference in August. My subject area is languages, not history, so the curricular issues are different, but the potential is equally exciting and the advantages would be many. I would welcome opportunities to discuss this and swap ideas with other interested parties. Future ACTEM/MLTI session maybe?

Diane Whitmore, Freeport H.S.
(contact through school website)

Ed Latham said...

What a great idea Diane. Pigy-back off of some state get together where a bunch of ideas can get tossed along and maybe some official forum can get created for creating "home grown" curriculuar resources. Imagine the power of having the important "textbook content" in the same location as project-based/place-based activities are being coordinated. In that same location you could find tons of resources for Inquiry learning and examples of student exemplars from all over the state. Cool idea and gets me all excited!

RS said...

Naturally, I think this one possible future that is starting to emerge as schools seek alternatives to textbooks (and their costs). We've been actively working on the idea of classic texts becoming e-texts that anyone could easily create and share especially for works that are now in the public domain.

Here are two simple examples that we created in under an hour which are web-accessible, indexed and easily navigated like any book. (and one more thing, they're optimized for viewing even on very small devices like an iPhone).

As others have commented, you could then annotate and enhance the sharing of the text among groups by including discussions, notes and other aspects of the work. It wouldn't take a lot of resources or time to assemble a set of classic texts that would be digitally on-demand and ready for daily use.

RS Love
Palo Alto, CA

Jim Burke said...

Scott . . . thank you for your leads.
Noteshare certainly offers some excellent tools for collaborative projects. Question: Is there a PC version in the works?

Ed Latham said...

I would propose the use of Zoho Notebook for all systems to be able to process the wonderful work being done. You can take a look at Zoho Notebook here If you click on the black label "Zoho Notebook" you will see some demos that illustrate exactly what this free, multi-platform tool can do. I think you may be impressed.

If you wish to continue to work in noteshare, I would suggest exporting your notebooks to html format so that the entire world can see and use your great work. You can still keep the raw data noteshare files posted somewhere.

Good work, keep it up!

RS said...

NoteShare already does HTML via Create Web Notebook feature that has in the File Menu. And, you can ship it around if you need to share with others who don't have NoteTaker or NoteShare.

Alternatively, you can view any shared, live notebook from a NoteShare system using NoteShare Express. It's free and highly interactive. Just works in your browser.

I think there are many choices for publishing e-text so it's really up to content providers, educators and authors to find the tool set that works best for them. We just happen to support it seamlessly.