the free modular textbook for junior secondary or middle schools

Author's News Blog, Quarter 2017/3


August and September were fairly busy months for the BS&T website. By the end of September, total downloads since the site went live had risen to over 376,000 documents including over 57,000 complete chapters. In 2017 downloads have been averaging about 85 modules and 40 chapters a day, plus about 30 other documents (including Teachers Guides, Syllabuses, Equipment Lists, Appendices, Index, Glossary and so on). It is encouraging to see that the site continues to meet the needs of significant numbers of students, teachers and others.

So far in 2017 the most prominent users have been located in Nigeria, USA, UK and India. Other countries figuring significantly have included (in no particular order) Malawi, Bangladesh, Jordan, Australia, Norway, Canada, Philippines, Zambia, Uganda, Ghana, and Rwanda. With one or two exceptions, most complete chapters are now downloaded more often than most individual modules (although every module is downloaded by at least a few people every month).The top dowloads during the last month included, in rank order, Chapters 13 Atoms and Chemistry, 2 Living Things, 16 Nutrition, health and disease, and 17 Force, Energy and Power in Action. The most popular modules were 1.1 Introducing science and technology, 3.11 Water in Living Things, 2.1 The characteristics of living things and 1.2 What is science?

I would like to encourage all readers to use the simple feedback form on the 'downloads' page. All you have to do is click on 'Contact Author' (on the download page), type in your comments, suggestions or questions, then click on 'SUBMIT' at the bottom of the form. I hope this simple format will encourage more users to contact me. The more feedback I get, the better I can respond to the needs of users so please use the new form and encourage others to do so!

Geographical distribution of users:

Known users of the BS&T website come from 157 different countries all over the world in Africa, America, Asia, Australasia and Europe.

The list of user countries includes: Albania, Algeria, Andora, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzogovena, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Buthan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guam, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Isreal, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Pakistan, PNG, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Southern Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Kitts & Nevis Anguilla, St Vincent and Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, UK, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zamia and Zimbabwe.

It is very encouraging to see that the site is being so widely used and feedback suggests that 'word of mouth' is a significant factor in this. Please continue to tell your friends and colleagues about BS&T.

Summary of documents downloaded:

Since the site went public 376,084 documents have been downloaded, of which 57,478 have been complete chapters (15.2% and rising).

Tips for teachers:

ALWAYS use the introductory module for each topic as an advance organiser. Research shows that advance organisers improve students' learning for the whole topic.

NEVER go to a science class with your hands empty! Be the teacher who always has something to show the students. The short notes in the Teachers' Guide include suggestions for every module.

ALWAYS try to relate what you are teaching to your students' personal experiences and locally significant examples.

ALWAYS use the questions at the end of each module for small group discussion or for homework. They make students think about what they have read. Processing information in this way helps both understanding and retention. Always discuss students' answers and be encouraging, however this is also your opportunity to correct any misunderstandings.

ENJOY teaching BS&T - if you enjoy it, so will your students and they will learn well too.

If you have studied a complete chapter, consider reviewing the work by getting your students to help you construct a concept map similar to the one given in the Teachers' Guide.

Author's photo

Request for more feedback:

Please help to improve the BS&T materials by using the simple 'Contact Author' form on the download page. You can complete this anonymously if you wish. In the past, less than 5% of the forms downloaded were actually completed and returned. Never-the-less I have received questions, comments and suggestions from students, home-schooling parents, teachers-in-training, teachers, and teacher educators in Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, UK, USA and Vanuatu. I appreciate all these communications and I am always pleased to respond if a return eMail address is provided.

Thank You!
David Slimming

© David Slimming 2013
All rights reserved