Thursday, August 2, 2012

Too big too care?

So Key Curriculum (makers of Geometry Sketch pad) announced that it had joined forces with McGraw-Hill Education.  So the question I want to ask does this help math students in our country?

I have become very disillusioned with publishers of math materials in the US.  There has been a slow decline in their quantity to the point where there are just a couple of publishers left.  This is a problem.

It is a problem because competition breeds innovation and quality, the only innovation lately has been "Common Core Aligned" stickers on the textbooks that existed prior to the common core!  The concern over profits versus materials that profit students is a battle seemingly long lost.

I have started my protest by not buying new books (why buy non-quality things!), I have used self-created materials, free websites and used text books.  It is sometimes not optimum for me, as the teacher, but I can buy a used book for $8 in precalculus, a new text is >$100.  So I have 3 texts that we switch between - utilizing the strength of each book - for less than $25 per student the last 3 years.  I am also using ck-12.org -- a website with free "texts."  My next plan is to have precalculus students help create sections that contain lessons and videos thus moving towards a web-based resources versus paper texts.  A text that integrates applications discussed in my last post.  This is what we need in math education, we need innovation!

So Key Curriculum asked "LIKE and SHARE if you are as excited as we are for this opportunity!"  So am I excited?    NO.......