While most students in the northern hemisphere right now are enjoying their days away from school, and admittedly so are most teachers, this is actually one of the most challenging times of the year for educators. Summer represents the time they spend in workshop sessions on new academic standards and requirements where they learn about the new topics they will be required to teach on the same old budgets they’ve endured for years. For many teachers, it means scouring the shelves of every discount store they find and spending a significant portion of their own money on books, supplies, and instructional tools.
Thanks to the work of Icreon Tech and Net Texts to develop the Net Texts iPad app, teachers can now create the content they need for student classroom consumption. In a number of schools, those teacher-created materials are replacing expensive and outdated textbooks.
“Net Texts is one of the most widely used applications in K through twelve, across the country,” explained Devanshi Garg, COO of Icreon, in an interview with GoodEReader. “This is an approach that has been signed on by over forty schools, in use by over 10,000 students and 1,000 teachers. Essentially, it’s a web-based content management system that lets teachers log in and create content. There’s an aspect for them to access public domain or creative commons content that they can pull from to conceptualize what they’re teaching. And they can create content of their own which they can then publish through this platform.”
This material, which includes a library of over 21,000 items, goes out to other users that students and teachers can access. The model first launched with iOS capability due to the widespread adoption of iPads in the educational setting, but Net Texts very quickly developed an Android app and is already looking forward to the upcoming launch of a Chrome app. The material is also still available through the recently website.
” The actual content, except for password protected content, is available to everybody for free. You can download the app and access all of the public content for free, since that was the vision of the founders, creating content that was open and shareable.”
While teachers and students can search the library of materials to supplement instruction and learning, some schools are at work in having teachers develop entire courses based solely on material accessed through Net Texts. The only paid aspect to the platform is the infrastructure of credentials for teachers to create curricular materials and support schools to actually use the material as an entire school’s curriculum. In those instances, the fee comes into play to send professionals on-site to train school administrators and teachers on how to effectively use Net Texts in place of textbooks.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.