Techbook vs Textbook

Lately, we’ve been seeing blog posts and tweets about teachers’ emerging interest in replacing their textbooks with “techbooks.” If you look up “techbook” on the internet you’ll find that it refers to technical handbooks for IT and software applications, but what we are seeing is something different. Our teachers are gathering documents, internet links, and web applications and combining them into their own “handbook” or “techbook” for learning.

If you think about it, teachers are already searching for useful information on the Web as a way to augment or replace expensive textbook content. They are also finding relevant interactive content that can be so much more engaging in the classroom. This includes video streaming content, online surveys, or even interactive applications that let kids build online posters, blogs, build 3d art landscapes, videos, slideshows, and run through interactive science and math projects.

This all hints at a new wave in 21st century learning practices that provides the tools for the student to drive and collaborate in their own learning process. The question becomes, how can teachers bring all of that dynamic content together into one place that can be useful in the classroom? I think this is why we are seeing so many interesting LiveBinders being created by teachers. The LiveBinder format is a way for teachers to organize and “make sense” of all the digital material out there by providing a framework that incorporates any traditional and new content into one easy to navigate format.

If you are already out there finding content and web applications that can enhance your curriculum, then you might find it helpful to combine them into your own library of LiveBinder “techbooks” that you can use and share with your classroom and fellow teachers. To explore our library of binders, click on the Categories > “More Education” link which will organize the binder shelves by subject.

We’ve gathered a few examples that can be a great template for your own “techbook” or something else that you may want use in the classroom. If you find any others that we haven’t spotted, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list!



Our user “S1mpl1fy” has created a great library of mathematic LiveBinders that can be used as “techbooks” for your classroom. Click on the link to view the shelf:

A math binder on Pi:
Pi Day Collection
Understanding Earthquakes
NASA Resources for 21st Century Teaching and Learning
Earth Science
The Decline of Frogs

UC Berkeley Biology Lecture videos:

Integrative Biology 131

Virgina State Science “techbooks”:

VB Earth Science
Civics/Science Project 2010


Civil War Biographies



This author has created a great library of Spanish binders:

Learning English:

CID English Links


Cape Fear Elementary Staff Handbook 10–11


A nicely done library of resources from “teachagiftedkid”:


AYC Sail Camp

One Response to Techbook vs Textbook

  1. Noah Beacom says:

    Thanks for including me on your list of Techbooks!

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