Here are some commonly asked questions about Beyond Textbooks :
What is Beyond Textbooks’ plan for the adoption of the Common Core Standards?
Beyond Textbooks is absolutely Common Core ready! For detailed insight into our plan, please click here.
What technology is necessary to use Beyond Textbooks ?
Beyond Textbooks is easy for any educator to use if the following pieces are in place:
A) A computer with the ability to open MS Office™, iWork™, or Office Office™ files
B) Broadband internet access
C) Basic web-browser and productivity software skills
D) A desire to connect with other educators
What types of materials are available on Beyond Textbooks ?
In addition to the identification of essential standards and creation of curriculum calendars, through Beyond Textbooks educators have access to unwrapped standards for reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. Formative assessments are also available for math and reading for grades 1st-10th. Other resources include lesson plans, blackline masters, quizzes, interactive weblinks, ideas, PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, graphic organizers, etc.
The Vail School District uses Macintosh, do you have resources for Windows?
While many of our resources are originally create on Macs, we provide the files in PC format as well. As much as possible we try to use file types that can be opened by Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Does Beyond Textbooks give me access to subscription based web services (i.e. United Streaming™, BrainPOP™, BrainPOP jr.™, etc.)?
Beyond Textbooks provides relevant, congruent, objective-based links to those resources, but it is a school district’s responsibility to make those resources available to its teachers. United Streaming™ is currently offered through AZ IDEAL and BrainPOP™ can be purchased at a group rate based on the total number of Beyond Textbooks subscribers.
Does my district/organization have to follow the suggested curriculum calendars and essential standards?
The curriculum calendar and essential standards are the result of thousands of teacher hours spent developing and creating these. We believe they are critical to our success with Beyond Textbooks . That being said, we can adjust the web calendars to fit your desired scope and sequence.
Can Title I or II funds be used to help pay for Beyond Textbooks ?
Yes, Title II-D Enhancing Education Through Technology can be used to help pay for a portion of a Beyond Textbooks Partnership in terms of the professional development that is required. A separate fee for a Beyond Textbooks Partnership, based upon the number of students in an organization, is not covered by Title funds, however.
How can we take advantage of this tool if our organization has teachers who are hesitant to try new technology?
The Beyond Textbooks team understands this concern as it is a common one, not only for a handful of teachers in the Vail Unified School District, where Beyond Textbooks was created, but for a few Beyond Textbooks partner educators as well. Knowing this is a potential hurdle for some, we have worked to create easy step by step training sessions that enable even the most “technologically challenged” to be successful. We also provide ongoing and consistent professional development in order to continuously help users “sharpen the saw” on what they have previously learned as well as to introduce new concepts on the facilitation of the Beyond Textbooks Wiki. Educators also have continuous access to digital PDF’s and short podcasts that demonstrate all skills necessary to successfully navigate the Beyond Textbooks Wiki.