Let us imagine a future. In this future, textbooks have been removed for students. The only people that have to use them are teachers.
This has solved many problems.
No longer do children have to carry heavy bags to school.
It discourages rote learning from a single source.
It forces certain habits of learning to be acquired by students. Students now have to pay attention in class and personalize their class notes. They have to be able to find content from different sources, including their own fellow students and peers. They have to start asking questions and being more engaged in class because there isn’t a fallback authorised expert true source.
Teachers on the other hand, can no longer rely on the textbook being available to students at home. They must choose other means to educate them. For this they have to provide alternate means or references that can act as starting points. They have a greater responsibility to ensure that students actually learn.
Publishers are forced to get creative because their staple business has just been disrupted. They start pushing resources in small chunks, creating libraries online and offline. In general, books that students decide brings more value to them, if used at all, actually will get consumed.
This has also created many change issues. Teachers and students have to find new ways to negotiate the syllabus. They no longer have the comfort of a set collection of text and images to build a common experience around. It forces them to be innovative, exploratory and collaborative, skills that were in short supply earlier. Parents don’t have a single frame of reference either. To get around it, some teachers have started subverting the system by pointing the students, unofficially, back to the textbooks.
There is absolute chaos in the beginning as everyone in unprepared to learn. As days go by, people find ways to adjust and adapt. Some figure alternatives that perpetuate the old system while many others try out the new modes.
What if such a future was here?