Text-Based Resources for Teaching

Text-Based Resources for Teaching

Lawrence A. Tomei (Robert Morris University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-824-6.ch007


In 2001, Christopher-Gordon Publishers printed the book entitled, Teaching Digitally: a Guide for Integrating Technology into the Classroom Curriculum. This highly successful publication has already been incorporated into many undergraduate and graduate teacher-preparation courses in instructional technology. While the original Christopher-Gordon text is now out of print, the publisher agreed to restore all copyrights to the author allowing this book to incorporate an modernized version of this valuable hands-on guide to preparing technology-based materials. The features, commands, menu items, and screen shots have been updated to reflect the latest Microsoft Office 2007 package and included as three separate Primers for Text, Visual, and Web-based Materials at the end of this book.
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Learners And Text-Based Materials

Books and other text-based materials remain an important, arguably the most important, resource for learners and teachers. Text has had an integral role in teaching and learning since the printing press made books plentiful, affordable, and ubiquitous. However, even in today’s classroom environment, it is not uncommon for teachers to acknowledge that they seek better resources, materials that reflect they way they teach and their students learn, content that stimulates thinking and group processes beyond what is found in today’s libraries and publishing houses.

Self-made resources represent a better way to produce the kind of text-based resources that address the unique needs of 21st century educators. Using the tools and techniques presented in this chapter, teachers will be able to design, develop, implement, and evaluate their own text resources. Some of the most important considerations for teaching and learning using text-based resources include:

Effectively addressing changes in learning environments. In recent years, students have demonstrated that they have indeed become a different breed of learners than in the past. The use of text materials must change as well. They must reflect a more interactive design with more visuals than previous editions.

Involving a degree of technology. Digital e-books and web-enhanced links within digital text are all ways to improve otherwise lackluster textual materials.

Providing for multiple levels of reading, writing and listening skills. Based on the competencies of individual learners, relying on a single book to cope with a variety of levels has been recognized as unworthy of today’s educational system. Using technology to bend text to the strengths and weaknesses of a particular learner is much more reasonable.

Addressing real-world situations. One of the major complaints about text-based materials is its inherently static nature when responding to abrupt challenges posed by changing world conditions.

Infusing a host of academic content areas. Most text books focus on a single subject matter. Using technology, text materials can be designed for the subject disciplines so that they link the reader with cross-curricular developments – economic, social, political, and environmental with issues of values, morals, ethics, and society.

Assessing learning. Text-based materials remain a primary media for assessment. Hard-copy tests, research papers, etc. will long remain the media of choice for many educators seeking to evaluate learning. Integrating technology with text can launch assessment into the next dimension of teaching by providing the immediate feedback to alter a course or delivery of content while the lesson is actually being delivered.

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