Image via WikipediaAn article came out recently in the state of KY talking about a school district that is contemplating spending textbook dollars on e-textbooks versus the traditional books. Here is the link to that article.
That article started some excellent dialogue in my district between myself, our two instructional leaders and our superintendent. All four of us were on the same page that e-textbooks are the future. I feel blessed to work in a district where our leadership understands the role technology plays and will play in the education of our students.
Our conversation then progressed to how do we get devices in the hands of students (all students) should e-textbooks be the future? While I still feel the day is coming when all students will have a device that is their personal learning device, I still don't believe we have seen that device yet. The mini devices (as I have reviewed in other blog entries) are getting us a step closer, but devices such as the iTouch and iPod could also play a role.
I firmly believe e-textbooks will be the "norm" within 10 years (hopefully sooner). Educators are beginning to understand and embrace that technology is the vehicle to engage our students at the next level. The more our educational leaders understand how our students live their lives outside of school and these students read on their laptop, iTouch/iPhone/iPod, desktop or something like a Sony Reader...the quicker e-textbooks will be embraced. This change must fall squarely on the shoulders of educational technology leaders to be the champion of such initiatives and embrace, explain and implement the necessary tools for change.
What are your thoughts on e-textbooks and their role in education? Will they be as common as the traditional textbook within 10 years? If so, why? If not, what would be the barriers?
Here are a few related articles on e-textbooks:
E-Textbooks - for real this time?
Publishers loosen rules on e-textbooks.
The Bottom Line on E-Textbooks.
JDS | CIO