By Frank Catalano
Schools are moving from creamy to chunky — but not in relation to cafeteria peanut butter. The change in texture is happening with content.
Instruction that was structured linearly, captured in books that were all-inclusive monoliths with a predetermined progression for a uniform, somewhat “creamy” consistency, is shifting to newer forms of instructional content that are more “chunky,” beginning as a scattered landscape of digital pieces that are then assembled to support full courses
The trend, steady and apparently inexorable, is inspired by higher education, driven by financial pressures, propelled by foundations and the federal government, and enabled by technology.
Digital course materials are, of course, nothing new. One of the highest-profile such initiatives, MIT’s OpenCourseWare, is a decade old. And digital textbooks, which have morphed from crude PDF representations of paper books to interactive iBooks, have also been available for years.
Pluto’s planetary status in flux? Swap out chunks without wiping out the lesson or course.
Now, digital curriculum — in both college and K-12 — seems to be shifting from attempts to break apart comprehensive digital textbooks to meet classroom needs, to building up lessons and courseware from individual instructional chunks. And that has the potential to make the traditional definition of “textbook” somewhat quaint.
Encouraging this acceleration of digital chunky content, in large part, is the Open Educational Continue reading