Blog‎ > ‎Old Blog‎ > ‎

A Bookless Spanish Class

posted Feb 2, 2010, 1:20 PM by Alex Pearson   [ updated Feb 2, 2010, 1:59 PM ]
Visited Lauren's Spanish 3 class today. Works just like any other class. Students listened to an audio clip and then wrote a response to what they heard. They practiced the nice, animated flash cards to learn vocabulary words. They presented work to the group in Spanish. Lauren asked them questions and they responded. They listened, wrote, read and spoke probably a little more than they would have done in a textbook environment.
This case study happened by accident. The textbooks were state-owned and simply did not come in on time because of a paperwork error. Lauren began using the online content and liked it. The kids were resistant at first, but warmed up to it pretty fast. By the time the books came in, no one wanted them anymore. The kids keep them at home or buried in their lockers. I came on a day when the wireless system was down, so we all just moved into the lab next door, which had wired machines. We mused that one student can occasionally forget one textbook, but if the network goes down, and you are a book-free school, everyone loses all their textbooks. On a side-note, people's reactions to the loss of the wireless were interesting and varied. Some were drawing up battle-plans for survival, some threw their hands up, and one administrator seemed quite relaxed and at peace to have all the informational noise cease.
Lauren and her students are accessing the site using usernames and passwords that Lauren set up. For the initial setup, all she needed was the ISBN of the teacher's manual. The question is, how do publishers avoid getting ripped off using this business model? Couldn't anyone type in the ISBN of the text and start their own class going? How will the publishers protect their content? Honor system?