Reconsidering the textbook
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©2006. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 87, Issue 31, page 306, 1 August 2006
How to Cite
2006), Reconsidering the textbook, Eos Trans. AGU, 87(31), 306–306, doi:10.1029/2006EO310004., , and (
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
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Is the printed science textbook a massive, slow moving dinosaur headed for extinction, doomed by its inability to evolve in the face of a fast moving technology bolide? In 10 years, will students still carry printed tomes in their backpacks, or will electronic media have replaced the textbook, leaving it about as useful as yesterday's typewriter or adding machine? With the explosion of digital technology in students' lives and the increasing awareness among geosciences faculty that established teaching techniques are becoming less effective for this generation of students, the time is ripe to reconsider the textbook.
More than 50 leading scientists, educators, and technology professionals ‘reconsidered the textbook’ during a recent intensive threeday workshop funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which was held at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS), in Washington, DC. Through small and large group discussions, the assembled group examined the current state of the textbook and its relationship to the growing number of electronic tools that also serve as learning resources for today's students. Together, the participants looked forward and—based on their knowledge of student learning, technology, and effective educational strategies—imagined the textbook of the future.