A focus on standards and objective is different from focusing on a textbook.
Good teaching focuses on the standard or the objective that students should know, not the textbook being used. This leaves space for innovation in the creation and innovation of textbooks. Let's look at a regular published textbook vs. a text produced through crowdsourcing.
A textbook is limited.
Texts are limited to the current edition. It is static.
Textbook companies are limited in the amount of time and energy that can be put into a textbook because at a point the cost will be too prohibitive.
A textbook is limited as to the number of standards that it can cover.
A textbook is limited because of production costs.
Textbook use is limited due to copyright laws.
A textbook is only a good as the limited number of authors who work on it.
A textbook is limited to the number of leveled versions it can produce.
A textbook cannot meet the needs of every student.
A textbook is limited to the adoption cycle of a state, district, or school. In California that is every 6 years, give or take. Students could be learning 6-year-old information. Mistakes stay until the next printing.
The textbook costs schools millions and millions of dollars each year.
A crowsourced textbook would be digital. Being digital would allow for re-mixing, re-purposing, incorporating other types of media, and make it very easy to innovate new ideas.
The crowdsourced textbook would discriminate against contributors based on credentials. The crowd discriminates based on the idea. The crowd member is essential anonymous on the net. The crowd cares less about who you are than what you can contribute.
The crowdsourced textbook is not reliant on the known reputation, skill, or specialization of its authors. It relies on the crowd to pick the best idea regardless of author.
The crowdsourced textbook is not limited to the number of standards it can cover because it will be digital. Thus, it is ever expanding.
The crowdsource textbook has not limits to the number of leveled versions that could be created. The crowdsourced textbook could be differentiated for individual student need in almost limitless ways.
The crowdsourced textbook can utilize an infinite number of graphic organizers, movies, sound, leveled stories, and translations to meet the needs of each and every student.
The crowdsourced textbook is not limited to an adoption cycle. It can change instantly. Mistakes can be corrected the minute they are found.
The crowdsourced textbook can change in a day, updated with the best ideas and the newest knowledge and information.
The crowd could make every sort and style of assessment.
The crowdsourced textbook does not worry about copyright, but instead relies on Creative Commons licenses.
The crowdsource textbook is inviting, inclusive, participatory and collaborative.
The crowdsource textbook would eliminate the need to spend millions and millions of dollars each year. That money would be directed into the classroom and the teachers.
The crowdsourced textbook could be the future. The published textbook will be the past. Is it time to give the crowd a chance?
open... open source, open genomics, open content