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The Anoka-Hennepin school district is the largest in Minnesota, serving approximately 40,000 students in surburban communities north of the Twin Cities. Similar to many districts across the country, Anoka-Hennepin has faced budget cuts that have forced the district to serve students with increasingly scarce resources. For example: the budget for curriculum adoption, which includes funds for textbooks and other instructional materials, has dropped to $1.5 million from a high of about $3.5 million. Typically, Anoka-Hennepin revises its curriculum and buys new textbooks every 7-10 years. In 2010, as it was nearing time to replace the Probability & Statistics textbook, district officials, led by Bruce DeWitt, the district Technology Facilitator, decided to try a new approach.
Rather than spend $200,000 on new texts for Prob&Stats, the district instead decided to write their own from open source materials. There was growing interest in integrating technology into the classroom and scarce resources with which to do so. DeWitt, along with teachers who also advocated a custom book, convinced the district to allow the math department to keep the cost-savings to purchase classroom technology, including tablet devices and wireless infrastructure. Using CK-12 Foundation’s Probability & Statistics FlexBook as a starting point, teachers began work on writing a custom textbook.
Annoka-Hennepin decided to use CK-12 Foundation’s FlexBooks system to write their custom book. Since they had CK-12’s standards-aligned Probability & Statistics textbook to use as a starting point, the task felt much less daunting. The team put a plan in place to prepare a custom book for the 2011-2012 school year.
The summer before the school year, three teachers were selected to author the books. Additionally, six math teachers were chosen to be editors. The district budgeted for about 300 authoring hours, 100 per teacher, for the process of reviewing CK-12’s FlexBooks and making any additions/customizations desired. Each teacher authored two chapters of the final book.
Anoka-Hennepin’s Prob&Stats book totaled just over 200 pages and debuted in the Fall semester to more than 3,000 students. Students were given various choices to access the book. The district printed and bound 1000 books – at a cost of about $5 per book – and made them available for purchase. Students had the option to access printed copies in the library. Digital access was provided online through a Moodle Learning Management System and on CDs given to those without internet access. Students also had the option of viewing PDF and ePUB files on laptops, tablets, and on mobile devices.
The reaction from various stakeholders – teachers, students, and the community – has been largely positive. The Associated Press covered the adoption, with many in the public lauding the district for its innovation. Most of the 12-14 teachers teaching Prob&Stats have been happy as well. “I like it a lot, especially the problems we added. I’ve heard mostly good feedback – some people just rave about it,” says Heather Haney, a 20-year teaching veteran who was one of the three authors. Teachers are already looking forward to next summer and the opportunity to make changes/updates to their textbook, something that would have been unimaginable in the prior 7-10 year adoption cycle.
Students have also benefited from the custom book. They had the option to purchase their textbook for only $5, as well as had unlimited free online access. In addition to cost and access, many students seem to appreciate that their book has more practice problems and examples, something that the teacher-authors explicitly decided to include. The generally positive feedback will be coupled with more robust evaluation. The district will be collecting and comparing data on formative assessments on performance before and after the implementation of their custom textbooks. DeWitt hopes that, with the initial success of this program, the district can try their hand at more subjects and take a leadership role in working with other districts to follow suit. “We need leadership from the state to bring districts together to create and share,” says DeWitt who has been presenting about the process at conferences in and around Minnesotta.
In the end, after factoring in various costs including paying teachers for their work, Annoka-Hennepin spent about $25,000 on its Prob&Stats book. This was a cost savings of about $175,000, as the district was slated to spend $200,000 on adopting a traditional textbook.
Many schools and districts are successfully implementing CK-12 Foundation’s FlexBooks® and FlexMath® including:
Anoka-Hennepin, the largest school district in Minnesota, used CK-12 to develop a Probability & Statistics textbook that saved the district $175,000. Read full case study here.
Leadership Public Schools, a network of four urban charter schools in the California Bay Area, used CK-12′s content and platform to develop low-cost tailored textbooks to provide access and scaffolding for struggling readers. Read full case study
Several district and charter schools in the California Bay Area, including Leadership Public Schools and Riverside Unified School District, saw dramatic gains in students scoring advanced and proficient on Algebra CST scores. Read full case study here
A study in Utah where teachers used CK-12 to create a custom science textbok found that open textbooks did not negatively impact learning outcomes and schools could save over 50% in costs using CK-12 rather than proprietary material. Learn more from the project website.
Create an online collaborative environment to produce free and open textbooks that are aligned to curriculum guidelines and can be customized for individualized needs.
CK-12 is recruiting stellar, summer interns to work on one or more projects (see below for project descriptions). In your cover letter, please express your expertise and interest in one of the projects and associated subject area(s). This opportunity is a paid internship, unless student is working to fulfill community service requirements.
|How to Apply:||Deadline to apply: May 29, 2013|
Please email your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with “HS Summer Intern Program” in the subject line.Please also submit one teacher recommendation letter to either email@example.com or by mail to Joy Sheng, CK-12 Foundation, 3430 W. Bayshore Road, Suite 101, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA.
Group project: Work with other student interns to design your own website that attracts students to www.ck12.org. What are students looking for? How would you integrate social networking? What are some of your favorite sites and why? This project is self-managed by the group with weekly reviews to monitor progress. A final presentation to the CK-12 team at the end of the summer is required.
*Previous experience or knowledge of web design, html, and other programming skills are a plus.
STUDENT STUDY GUIDES
Using the CK-12 FlexBook System, create study guides for each chapter of the following CK-12 FlexBooks:
Basic Algebra, Algebra I, Basic Geometry, Biology, or Earth Science (MS or HS)
Study guides could include notes, supportive videos, self-created diagrams/charts, and helpful hints and tips for other students.
Create multimedia objects, such as animations, for selected math and science concepts. Adobe Flash, HTML5, or AJAX experience a plus!
STANDARDS CORRELATION REPORTING
Update and transfer existing reports to match new “flexed” versions.
Assist content team with consolidating lesson level metadata.
RESEARCH AND COLLECT EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Work with Book Manager to research and vet educational artifacts across the Web that will enrich CK-12’s Math/Science Concepts. As part of this project, you will focus on identifying embeddable resources / ancillaries for CK-12’s Math/Science Concepts.
Help create multimedia objects, such as animations, and other enrichment activities for selected CK-12’s Math/Science Concepts. Adobe Flash, HTML5, or AJAX experience a plus!
Work with Book Manager to review selected projects for accuracy and quality. As part of this project, you will focus on concepts relating to middle and high school math and science courses of study.
CONCEPT MAPPING PROJECT
Work with Book Manager and Curriculum Alignment to create descriptive Subject Area Maps of CK-12’s Math/Science Concepts and the larger superset of S.T.E.M. topics, nodes, and relationships among them, in ultimate support of content organization, user interface, and links to curriculum standards.
|When:||March 7-10, 2011|
|Where:||San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA
Visit booth #413 for a hands-on FlexBook demonstration to learn more about how you can deliver a customized textbook to your students. While you’re there, you may enter our raffle for a chance to win a FREE iPad! We will be raffling off 2 iPads on Tuesday and 2 iPads on Wednesday.
Join us in the San Diego Convention Center’s Mezzanine Lobby for a cocktail reception on Tuesday, March 8th, at 6:30pm.
The California Charter Schools Conference inspires academic excellence, operational integrity and unity among charter schools throughout California.
The goal of the conference is to bring together the entire charter school community to support one another in achieving excellence in every aspect of running a school. Innovative charter leaders from throughout California will present their proven strategies for increasing student achievement and closing the achievement gap. Our experts will lead sessions about balancing your budget, obtaining a new facility, creating a safe school environment, building a productive and excellent board and how to strongly advocate for you school on the local, state and federal level. We will also have new programming about technology, fund raising, developing new charter schools, independent study and online learning.
The conference is for teachers, board members, administrators, business managers, parents, university educators, political leaders, business partners and community stakeholders. Every year the conference features an all-new program, so many attendees come again and again.
You agree that you are donating your contributions to CK-12 and you will not receive monetary reimbursement. If the submission is accepted, we reserve the right to correct minor oversights in punctuation, grammar, or spelling. We will attribute you as author under the CC-BY-NC-SA license. We may contact you if your submission is accepted for use. Submissions may be accepted and used at a later time. We cannot guarantee acceptance or date of publication of any submission.
By submitting your work, you authorize publication of your contribution in any or all of the following:
CK-12 ePUB Editions (and other supported output formats)
For further information, you can also take a look at our Guide to Authoring a Science FlexBook.
To submit your contribution, click here. Please enter the type of submission in the subject line and attach your Word and/or zipped up art files. In the body of the email, please include a short description, the intended grade and appropriate course for your given attachment. If you are interested in donating other types of materials to CK-12, like a full-blown learning module, chapter, book, or a translation of something already in the CK-12 library, please contact us directly.
Note: Some ISPs limit the size of attachments. We suggest limiting the size to 10Mb or less. Please contact us directly if you’d like to submit documents exceeding this limit.