Normally the trend would be in school is to require courses taken to have textbooks, and each teacher would always have his perrenial bias towards recommending his won favourite textbook, be it authored by him or his favourite college pprofessor. .In buying technology textbooks as time passes by specially in IT they tend to be outdated by the time you receive them and because we have this great thing called the Internet filled with technology information.
Not so long ago, it took a fair amount of work, though to assemble a whole semester’s or year’s worth of coursework from web materials. Obviously, supplemental materials abounded, but textbooks certainly do help with a curriculum and keeping students on track from day to day. And as a school administrator for a school with students from class CD and e groups, I would always look for affordable alternatives, knowing that the web is full of them, it only would take you a specially dedicated researcher to find these things on the net. We were all set for introductory web classes and office productivity, but more advanced web goodies and programming were certainly not in our book closet.
It didn’t take much of our time to do Googling, that we came over to see that there are full textbooks and curricula were now available for free to cover every topic I had in mind. The idea of Open Textbooks is a fairly new one, following in the same vein as Open Source Software. Some of them, like Wikibooks, are works in progress. Others are robust teaching tools, like those found on opentextbook.org:
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist (this comes in 4 different versions, each specific to an implementation language)
The Canadian site Free Learning is also a treasure trove of information and is searchable as well. This is more of a meta-database, pointing to a variety of open text resources.
This doesn’t even take into account initiatives like MIT’s OpenCourseWare. Two introductory computer science courses (including notes, presentations, source code, and other supplemental materials) are available here, along with countless courses appropriate for high school and independent study. Courses particularly appropriate for high school are even broken out on this site
We’re certainly nowhere near a time when we can dispense with purchased, traditional textbooks, especially in core subjects that often need to be aligned with local, state, or federal standards. However, I have no doubt that I can give teachers everything they need to teach a wide variety of courses in technology without spending a dime.
We just have to be wise enough and have the temerity to search within the available set of freee resources in our reach.