#D100BloggerPD: Ditch That Textbook

Thursday, October 11, 2018

     This post is a part of the latest edition of #d100bloggerpd!  This time around we are reading Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller.  The premise of the book is that textbooks are static and unchanging, and they start to go out of date the day they get printed.  A better alternative is to embrace technology and innovation and teach in the now.  

      About a decade or so ago, my admin had us do a purge of all the old textbooks that we had in our building.  They came from every hidden corner of the building.  No locker or spider webby closet was left alone on the search.  The halls were filled with obsolete basals.  So, I guess you can say that my school district has literally ditched that textbook.  (I really wish I had a picture to insert here.)

     Textbooks aren't really the issue, in my opinion.  I have used some before, and they are not all bad.    (I'm still not a huge fan, though...) But, you do need to be a critical consumer of all educational materials that we have access to.  The ideas he shared in my chapters were more innovation techniques that could be done even if a teacher decided to use a textbook as well.  I think it comes down to purpose and our intentionality as educators.  While my district does not rely on textbooks, I do think that district that do would still get some useful innovation strategies from Matt Miller.

     Since I am a literacy coordinator, I am going to make my chapter summary a bit more of a poetic summary this time around.  I am going to attempt to summarize my 5 chapters in haiku form.  That's right: 5-7-5.  I'll then follow it up with a one sentence summary, just for good measure.

Give students a voice!
Blog. Comment. Reflect. Respect.
Help shape their world view.

     If we allow our students to blog with an audience bigger than their teacher, and we support them with key lessons on commenting and content, then our students will have a global audience to share their world with.

A pen pal reboot...
Mystery Location Calls
Help flatten the world.

      The idea of the pen pals of my past is now replaced by connecting with others around the world using social media, technology, and Mystery Skype, yet I still have letters from my pen pals from 30 years ago.  Think about preserving those connections, too. (OK, that was 2 sentences.) 

Circulate. Question.
Management is management.
 Engage. Time. Respect.

     Classroom management in a digital classroom requires the same classroom management skills in a traditional classroom.  

Airtight plans = Not real.
"Inaction is crippling."
Action empowers.

     If you wait and plan and plan and plan some more so that it's perfect, there will still be obstacles that come your way, so just jump in and try.

I want it all... NOW.
That leads to classroom chaos.
Be intentional.

     More tech is not better tech, just like tech for the sake of tech is not a reason to use tech at all.

     That's it!  Those were my five chapters, summarized in haiku with a one sentence summary follow up.  If you want to read more about his suggestions for innovation, check out Matt Miller's Ditch That Textbook.

Did you want to read more of this #d100bloggerPD series?  
  • Check out Colleen Noffisinger's kick off post here.
  • The post right before mine was actually a vlog from Justin Gonzalez at It Worked.
  • The next post will be from Amy Gorzkowski at Grammar Mamma.