wikis and/as textbooks

An article in Teachers College Press reports on the lack of adequate textbooks in California’s public schools — especially in financially less well-off communities. The authors have been sharply critical of high-stakes consequences being imposed by NCLB on students in schools without the resources needed for an education that measures up to the state’s standards.

Meanwhile, NewScientist online reports that ‘Students in developing countries are to get free textbooks written using “wiki” technology that lets anyone add to or edit an online document.’

This suggests two possibilities:

  1. Maybe California students would be better off ; and
  2. Maybe all students would be better off if they could use wiki-style textbooks developed by, say, scientists and science teachers, or historians and history teachers, instead of the textbooks being marketed by commercial publishers. There are people who would be terrified by this prospect; there are also legitimate concerns.

What do you think?


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