Over the years the methods for teaching classes has improved as Professional Learning Communities and other focused efforts have been put into place. In different articles I read about teachers not making an effort to do more to improve student grades, which I think is unjustly stated. Teachers must deal with so much more than just delivering a lesson in the course of an hour, or whatever the length of a class period is. I think we need to support teachers in using technology to maximize their teaching skills and expand student collaboration.
I don't like using the text book in my class, except as a reference. I wonder why teachers use it at all. The computer has so many more quality resources; an example is Wikipedia. Its' versatility includes multiple languages and content that drills down on the basic concepts. Teachers, who have had some training or already understand technology, can create their own wikipedia and build it to host class content from year to year.
I wonder what would happen if 1) the school districts stopped buying textbooks and invested that money in $100 laptops for students, 2) trained teachers in using technology like wikipedia, and 3) hosted ongoing paid professional development courses to support teachers in enhancing their technology skills in using these tools?
I betcha, in the long run, the districts will realize an overall in reduction of expenses while also supporting teachers in maximizing technology .... plus making sure students are more equipped to live in their technology driven society.