• At the 2016 annual MACUL conference, there was the opportunity to participate in a session on Michigan’s Open Book Project, a grant funded initiative coordinated by the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District located in Cadillac. From the website, the Open Book Project is described as

    “a multi-year initiative funded as part of the Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRIG) which will empower groups of master teachers to come together, collaborate, and develop a open education resource for use in classrooms around Michigan. The final products will be available on this website as soon as they are ready. Even cooler, the source files (iBooks Author and InDesign formats) will also be available to download and add your own content.”

    In other words, a group of Michigan teachers have been collaborating to develop textbooks and classroom resources for broader, classroom use by the state’s students and teachers. What is especially exciting is the electronic formats of the resources are familiar to students, who integrate the use of Chromebooks and smartphones into their daily lives. And, these resources are completely adaptable by teachers, allowing for supplemental personalization and currency. Therefore, if a video resource becomes available on YouTube or Vimeo, or a local original source is identified in a library’s archives, they can be added to the open source textbook to help enrich the information and increase understanding. Currently, the Michigan Open Book Project has developed textbooks for the following curricular areas:

    • Kindergarten
    • 1st Grade Families and Schools
    • 2nd Grade Communities
    • 3rd Grade Michigan History
    • 7th Grade Ancient World History
    • 8th Grade United States History: Revolution through Reconstruction
    • 9th Grade United States History: Reconstruction through Today
    • High School Civics
    • High School World History

    A noteworthy example of resources available in an open project like the U.S. History text are embedded video stories that provide real-world contact with long ago events. Here, Alice Gauthier, a laborer during the Second World War, describes her local ‘Rosie the Riveter’ role supporting the war effort in Ypsilanti and Highland Park, Michigan.

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