Thursday, March 1, 2012

Create Your Own STEM Textbook for Free!

The CK-12 foundation has introduced a new resource called the flexbook. CK-12 provides free access to textbooks for science, technology engineering, math and SAT review. They are now offering the ability to design your own "flexbook". You can read more about this initiative here. 

The web interface allows the user to select chapters from a text and then add them to your personalized flexbook. The editor allows the user to edit content in the chapter, insert text, insert images and insert videos. There are a series of easy to follow video tutorials that demonstrate how to add your own content.   Besides utilizing or editing existing chapters you can author your own chapter. The editor is very intuitive and offers a breadth of functionality.

Once you have finished curating the resources in your book you have options for sharing.

  1. Share or Print as a PDF

  2. Share as an online electronic book

  3. Share as an HTML website.

  4. Some of the books can be downloaded directly to the IPAD, Kindle, Nook Color, or Android Tablet.

You can share the book with your students by adding a link to it on your website or Moodle course.  There are a number of relevant books in the library. In many cases these books are best used to supplement the existing text and instructional materials already in place. The online textbooks utilize a number of primary source documents. They are designed to develop critical thinking skills.  You can search for textbooks that are aligned to the New Jersey standards and the common core standards.

The use of web-based, online textbooks that allow for the addition of personalized content offers a simple solution for educators to incorporate the resources of the web in one organized place.  Students, teachers and curriculum coordinators may author chapters or complete textbooks. Special education teachers may work collaboratively with general education teachers to provide flexible and differentiated content to meet the needs of their students. The possibilities are endless.




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