Sunday, June 19, 2011

Digital Textbooks - a thing of the present?

Here is an interesting article about digital textbooks. Apparently, Florida has passed a law "requiring all public schools to adopt digital textbooks by the 2015-16 school year and spend 50 percent of their textbook budgets on digital materials". Needless to say, the districts are not jumping for joy at the plan to spend all that money in the midst of budget cuts and crunches! The savings are not going to be apparent up front (are they ever), and who knows how many challenges there will be to the law in the next 3 years (anybody forgotten the class size fiasco?). There are a few examples of digital textbooks working in high schools (the Kindle was highlighted in the article) and it looks like there may be more to come.

The most interesting thing that MAY keep this plan alive is one fact written towards the end of the article - FCAT and end-of-course exams, will go digital by 2015 and they don't want the first time the students see digital content to be on the test that grades the schools!

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