Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment/Technology/Student Textbooks

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Student Written Text Materials By Pauline Thorson

Learning Targets[edit | edit source]

To learn more about Student Written Text Material.

To understand that the student written material can be considered credible material.

To understand the effects of students writing their own textbooks.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

As technology advances, so does the way we learn. Now students on the university level, in a more technologically advanced age have the chance to write our own textbooks. Not only is this affordable,but it can also be used in the future. One may think we have been thrown into the deep end however with this class we have the chance to walk through the steps of writing our own textbook for future teachers to use as a reference. Individually we are responsible for one article and critiquing our fellow classmates. As a group we have the responsibility of informing the future educators.

A student-written text material is formed by a group of students in grade school, high school, or even at the university level. Students, teachers or professors collaborate to produce a text from which others can learn.

History[edit | edit source]

The start of the written language can be traced back to cavemen. These cavemen would write on the walls of caves with rocks, clay, and sometimes blood. They did this to teach others where to find food.

The Ancient Egyptians were among the first to develop a formal language, hieroglyphics, and writing utensils, which included papyrus and a primitive ink. They would also use scrolls to record information. These scrolls could be considered one of the first textbooks. However, according to John Wakefield, University of North Alabama, textbooks were invented by Aelius Donatus, in 4 A.D. in a catechism style. Student would answer a question posed by the teacher (Wakefield, 2008 p 5).

Civilization used the quill and ink on parchment for almost a thousand years.

Jumping forward in history, the use of modern style pen and paper, typewriters and most recently computers are used compose our thoughts. There is not much of a jump to make from composing thoughts on a computer to a group of students publishing a textbook.

Student Work[edit | edit source]

The students write articles within the textbook as part of a course in which they are enrolled. This is usually under the guidance of a teacher or professor. Most teachers and students eventually find that they learn best from teaching others.

As for the process, the students choose an article or two to write with other classmates and get guidance from peers. Then they try to get current and relevant information out to better educate themselves and their fellow classmates.

But if you wish to know more about the authors, you can look their information up in the About the Authors section of the book.

Credible Information[edit | edit source]

You may think, what would students know about writing a textbook? They are just learning the basics. You would be surprised, because when one person becomes a master of some idea or profession they also have to go through a trial in which they learn a great bit and in turn can teach what they have learned. How many times does a child fall before he or she learns to walk? How many of us still stumble or stub a toe every now and then? With these analogies one could say that we are learning all the time. It is with this continual learning process that we eventually do become masters of what we are learning thus, being able to teach others through our own experiences.

Also the students get to learn with their fellow students and provide peer reviews. Peer reviews are the chance for students to advise, suggest and guide their classmates into producing the best work they can.

We as a class get to learn and critique our peers in order to help them learn things about themselves as well as ourselves. This is a new way to get ourselves and fellow students thinking and exercising our minds (Nodding 2008).

Effects[edit | edit source]

There is no cost to the college student in purchasing a text for a course that employs this method of learning. This is a big plus for most students considering that most students have a budget and really do not want to have to shell out 100's to 1000's of dollars if they do not have to. The Washington Post recently reported that "Sales of used textbooks last year grew 15 percent to $2 billion, with double-digit growth expected through 2011, according to Simba Information, a market research group. Meanwhile, sales of new textbooks have grown by 4 to 5 percent annually, with the market this year expected to reach $3.6 billion."(Mui & Kinzie 2008, para 120). This can be quite the daunting figure for the students of the future.

"Of course, the most immediate benefit of classroom teaching and textbook writing is that they allow you to mold the minds of students."(Mankiw 2007) Mankiw, a Harvard Professor, continues to say that as one writes a textbook one can begin to understand their weaknesses and how to strengthen them with the correct information (Mankiw 2007).

This textbook will also give future pre-service teachers, students learning to teach, an up to date reference, in which to learn how we all can teach each other and some of the stumbling blocks along the way. Which Kevin Hunter found that in a NEA survey that "39 percent of teachers said they do not have enough textbooks to assign homework to their students, and 32 percent reported their oldest textbook was more than 10 years old." (Hunter, 2006).

After it is all written, the student (with fellow classmates) get the honor of being able to say they wrote a textbook, which will look good on a resume'.

As with this modern age of technology we do have cheaper ways of getting books online but, why pay for something when you can learn so much more by writing it?

Future Classes[edit | edit source]

There is a debate that if students start writing their own books then the textbook companies will lose money. However, the publishers make money from republishing the same information year after year. The future of student written textbooks is a definite possibility of the future.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Textbooks have been around for a great deal of time. As time has changed, humans have evolved the way of learning to fit the surroundings that have been created. Scientists developed ideas that led to the invention of the computer. It is the computer that people now use to compose a textbook for future teachers to read. The computer and classes allow us to develop the techniques and forgo the cost of buying another book and in turn to learn a great deal from fellow classmates!

References[edit | edit source]

Hunter, Kevin. (2006) A Textbook Case. T.H.E. Journal.33 (15) 48, 50

Mankiw, Greg. (March 4, 2007). On Textbook Writing. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from Greg Mankiw Blog: Random Observations for Students of Economics. Website:

Mui, Ylan Q. and Susan Kinzie. August 20, 2008. Break on Cost of Textbooks Unlikely Before Last Bell, 2010. The Washington Post p. A01

Noddings, Nel. (February 2008). All Our Students Thinking. Educational Leadership 65(5) 8-13

NEA/AAP Survey Finds Nationwide Textbook Shortages, Teachers Don't Have Enough Books to Assign Homework.NEA News Release October 8, 2002

Wakefield, John F. (1998, June) A Brief History of Textbooks: Where Have We Been All These Years? St. Petersburg, FL. Meeting of the Text and Academic Authors (Eric Document Reproduction Service No. ED 419 246)