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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blog Post #14

CourseSmart
CourseSmart E-Textbooks
Teacher Knows if You've Done the Reading is an article about the use of CourseSmart E-Textbooks in the classroom. Among the colleges attempting this technique this semester are Texas A&M at San Antonio, Central Carolina Technical College, Clemson, and Stony Brook University. This new approach involves an online textbook for students that can be accessed and monitored by their teachers. Students’ progress is tracked through an “engagement index” which allows teachers to see when students are not reading assigned materials, not taking notes, and when they are failing to highlight important information. Adrian Guardia of Texas A&M comments about his experience with one of his students using CourseSmart. Mr. Guardia noticed the student had only opened his textbook once but his quiz grades were solid for the most part; he knew he had to reach out to the student about his studying habits. The student received a C on his last quiz, and came to the revelation that it was because he had a low CourseSmart index. CourseSmart was created by McGraw-Hill, Pearson and other major publishers to offer a constant stream of data about how much students are or are not progressing.

My Reaction to New Technology
My reaction to the information given from the New York Times as a future educator is a bit undecided considering the fact that I am still a student, but putting myself in my future teaching shoes I think this new technology might be a good thing. Having access to knowledge about whether or not students are even opening their books could be helpful in terms of how teachers present daily lessons. I think that the program could grow into a huge resource for future classrooms!
My reaction as a student is still undecided just because I have not been exposed to so much use of technology in the classroom. Granted my first memory of computers in school was either in 1999 or 2000 and I've been using them in the classroom ever since; I feel I was exposed in the beginning of the technological age so I’m still a fan of using my pen and paper in the classroom. The current generation and future generations may see things differently because they seem to always be using technology; whether they are inside or outside of the classroom. The use of textbooks just doesn't cut it anymore; keeping students’ attention is becoming more difficult. After reflecting on this topic I have come to the conclusion that I believe ideas like CourseSmart could and will contribute to a lot in future classrooms around the world.

If I Were to Talk to the Teachers and Students
If I were to talk to Mr. Guardia I would have a few questions.
1.What was the feedback from your students and their opinion of CourseSmart after they completed the semester?
2.After confronting students about their low index’s did you see any changes in their efforts and/or test scores?
3.Do YOU enjoy the use of CourseSmart in the classroom?
4.What percent of students didn’t even bother opening their textbooks?
5.Do you think those students that didn’t open their textbooks didn’t open them because they had easy distractions on the computer and did not actually have the book in front of them?

If I were to talk to Mr. Guardia’s students I would have a few more questions. Such as:
1.Did you like having an E-Text book rather than an actual textbook?
2.Do you think using an E-Textbook affected your grades in any negative ways?
3.What were the positives about using CourseSmart?
4.Do you think your score directly reflects the use of your textbook or notes?
5.Was it harder or easier to study with an E-Textbook?
6.Didn’t you miss having the actual book in front of you to bookmark and highlight in?
7.Would you like for all of your classes to use CourseSmart?

My Comment
I did not leave a comment but if I were to leave a comment I would probably include some of my questions listed above. I would also mention my opinion about how I think this program could grow into something BIG. I cannot say that for sure, nor can I say I totally agree with the use of it in the classroom simply because I have no experience with the CourseSmart program. However, I am interested in learning more about it!

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