NYC Schools to Get E-Books From Amazon

Finally. I imagine other large districts have already done the same, but Amazon just secured a $30 million deal to provide textbooks in digital format to NYC schools.

The new deal won’t include Amazon devices, but the company will create a platform specifically for the district to purchase the textbooks and use on the devices the district already has.

When I was in school I never carried around my textbooks. Because there were too many and they were much too heavy to lug around all day. This makes perfect sense to me. And it’ll save plenty of trees in the process. Win-win.

What do you think of Amazon and the NYC schools reaching this agreement?

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Check This Out

I’ve written on here a number of times discussing writing in school. I don’t think writing is taught nearly as comprehensively as it should be in most classrooms. But one school district in Maryland is trying to pave the path toward change.

Teaching literacy no longer falls solely on the shoulders of English teachers. Every teacher in every subject is now on the literacy train. Students will now be writing and thinking analytically in every class. It could be chemistry or physics, statistics or world history. The district’s goal is to better prepare its students for college or the workforce because how many college classes or jobs don’t require a good bit of writing?

I think this is great. And hopefully it is implemented well and other school districts follow suit. I’m sure some of you think students should be thinking and writing analytically in school already, but what do you think of this district really emphasizing it now?

Common Sense Sometimes Pulls Through

Recently in Arizona a school board voted in favor of tearing out pages of honors biology textbooks that discussed abortion in a manner they didn’t like. The alternative was to have the pages redacted via Sharpie. I can’t make this stuff up.

But then something rather hilarious happened. Voters voted for a new majority on the school board shortly after they made their decision. And now no textbook pages are being ripped out or blacked out. Nope. Instead a small sticker has been placed on the inside of the back covers that says something like, “If you have questions about sex, ask your parents.” I’m not joking. I don’t see how anyone can claim victory for something like this when the previous goal had been quite different. And I know this isn’t the only thing I could say about legislators or school board members getting involved with school textbooks, but this is fairly recent and the school year is just about here.

Who do you think should be deciding which textbooks are used in public schools? I say the state should give wide ranging guidelines for textbooks, but that school districts should ultimately decide for themselves.


 

On this day in 2014 I published Would you Rather…. This is a book tag that is STILL making its way around YouTube and WordPress. Surprised someone hasn’t thought of something better.