Growing Number of Schools Are Turning to Net Texts for a Wealth of Free, Curated Open Educational Resources

Free OER content and app for tablets and Android devices save schools money by reducing or eliminating textbook purchases

NEW YORK--()--In the last hundred years students have gone from attending one-room schoolhouses with handheld slates, to classrooms with handheld devices of a more high-tech sort. Yet, one thing hasn’t changed — the use of expensive and, in many cases, outdated textbooks as their main source of content. The Internet has made it possible for teachers and experts to share a wide variety of open educational resources (OER), but organizing, managing and delivering this content has been an arduous, time-consuming challenge. Until now.

Based on the success of a pilot program in Atlanta last year, schools across the country are signing up for Net Texts. Net Texts is a free, web-based system that provides teachers access to a vast library of high quality OER content, which they can then combine with their own resources to create and publish lessons directly to students’ iPads, Android tablets, or computers. Teachers using the Net Texts system for education content management and delivery find they are able to make classroom learning more current and exciting, thus reducing the time students take to reach learning objectives. Further, schools can save up to $250 per student per year by reducing or eliminating costs for textbooks and curriculum materials.

“This cannot be overstated: Net Texts has single-handedly changed the face of education, and there is no going back,” said Patty Childs, principal of St. Jude the Apostle, one of the Atlanta schools that piloted the system in 2011 as part of a Diocesan 1:1 iPad initiative for eighth grade students. “Our teachers are delivering content in ways our students find interesting and engaging, and outside the classroom it’s really no different than if they took their teacher home with them. It is simply amazing.”

More than just a content management system, Net Texts is a powerful teaching and learning tool that helps schools maximize their investments in tablets and 1:1 computing initiatives, while improving teaching and learning. Using an intuitive interface, teachers can find, build and customize multimedia courses from Net Texts’ mix-and-match library of more than 21,000 free OER items from trusted providers like Curriki, Khan Academy, and some of the world’s top colleges and universities. Complete lessons, units and courses are available in subjects ranging from British and American Literature to Calculus, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, and U.S. and World History.

But as the only open system on the market today, Net Texts also allows teachers to add their own content and resources, change or update lessons at any time, and deliver them directly to students. Using the free Net Texts app, students can download the courses to their tablets and engage in interactive learning at any time, inside and outside the classroom. Because the content is stored locally on the devices, there is no need for students to have Wi-Fi access in order to view and complete their assignments.

“Net Texts is leveraging the growing pool of open educational resources, alongside teachers’ own custom materials, to provide a simple, flexible platform for education content management and delivery,” said Net Texts co-founder Michael Messner. “This is 21st century learning at its best — where relevancy, engagement and up-to-the-minute content is available for teaching and learning. Teachers no longer have to wait for the next edition of a textbook to be published, nor will schools spend such a high percentage of their budgets to secure quality content.”

A noted technology innovator, Burlington Public Schools (BPS) in Massachusetts has started using Net Texts to manage its transition away from textbooks.

“What we are doing is giving our faculty and our students more ways to connect and share dynamic content,” said Andrew Marcinek, instructional technology specialist at BPS. “A digital resource created by teachers in conjunction with OER does not require edition upgrades. What’s more, teachers can change and update content when they need to. This option gives them full autonomy over their classroom content.”

Shannon Blake, a social studies teacher in Charleston, S.C., believes Net Texts has allowed her the opportunity to create a more student-centered classroom with ease. “With Net Texts, I am able to create and deliver several reading assignments at different reading levels to accommodate the individual needs of all my students. And when students are absent, they can easily keep up with their missed assignments. I have started to post my lectures now so students can listen to the lecture at home as many times as they need to grasp the content,” she said.

In addition to social studies, Blake’s school, the Charleston Catholic School, uses Net Texts across all curriculum offerings including math, science, language arts, reading and religion. “This year even our yearbook and photography classes are using the program via their iPads,” she said. “It’s a wonderful tool to have.”

Contacts

Eicher Communications
Leslie Eicher, APR, 314-965-1776
Leslie@EicherCommunications.com

Release Summary

Schools nationwide are turning away from textbooks and using the free Net Texts system. With a library of free online educational resources, combined with teachers' content, students access via iPads.

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Contacts

Eicher Communications
Leslie Eicher, APR, 314-965-1776
Leslie@EicherCommunications.com