Rethinking the Textbook

Textbooks should be as interesting as the world in which we live, and using authentic content in English language teaching and learning materials prepares learners for the real world.



At National Geographic Learning, we believe the textbook is a valuable tool for learning, providing careful explanation of concepts, available when the teacher isn't, portable to travel wherever the learner needs it. Unfortunately, too many textbooks are also artificial, out of sync with the real world the student experiences every day, and students find them boring. At National Geographic Learning, we don't think it has to be that way.

We believe textbooks should be as interesting as the incredibly diverse, exciting and beautiful world in which we live. We work hard to make sure our textbooks are full of real stories, inspiring ideas, stunning photography, and compelling video from that world, and that our programs look like workbook versions of a National Geographic magazine or a TED Talks conference program.

Our textbooks bring the world to learners, the real world, the whole world, and they bring learning to life. We are so committed to this that in addition to the great National Geographic and TED content we already have, we commission more real-life photography and video through our Life as Lived Expeditions, in which National Geographic photographers film everyday life in different areas of the world.

Real people as they live captured by some of the world's best photographers, specifically to help us do the best possible job of reflecting real life in our learning programs. We are also going beyond the book, and increasingly delivering live and virtual learning experiences with National Geographic Explorers and TED speakers that bring the world into the classroom live.

And we are delivering content in new ways, like our Learn English with TED Talks app that puts the world of TED ideas onto the phones of English learners everywhere, so that they can learn and be inspired wherever they are, because we believe learning should be inspiring, real and relevant.

So whether print or digital, we don't think learning programs have to be boring, and we work hard to ensure ours are not.

We teach English and we teach the world. We hope our learning programs will inspire learners to explore both, and in turn, be inspired by what they find, and that's how we are rethinking the textbook. Thank you for listening.

Bringing the World to the classroom and the classroom to life, learn more about our products