The good old classroom TEXTBOOK is becoming more and more in question and obsolete these days. In the article Textbooks of the Future by David Warlick states the following,
"…students will eventually use computers in place of traditional textbooks is almost certain. Just watch the eight-year-old children at your local elementary school pulling their backpacks (now on wheels). This makes no sense."
He later goes on to support his claim (and elaborate) on these three reasons:
1) Digital information is rich and interactive
2) Digital information is interconnected
3) Digital information can be expressed compellingly
Glencoe now has an online student versions of their textbooks. And while some librarians are stacking them as Educational Curriculum Materials, (see Mclure Education Library) some are arguing, "do we really need them, with all of the digital information available?"
I happen to know several educators, who for the fall are signing up their students for the online text versions. However, if a school is going to go this route, the computers should be fairly up-to-date. Otherwise, downloading is forever and linking to chapter pages takes forever.
On another textbook note, I remember one SLJ Summit attendee mention, "they [textbooks] are a common resource and the flood of information will wash over what's in the classroom. We could use textbooks to fact check."