The time has come.
Some find it hard to accept.
Digital textbooks are replacing paper textbooks in the schools.
You heard it here. First. In October 2008 we reported that administrators should take a serious look at digital textbooks. Now you no longer have the choice. Instead of taking a look at digital textbooks, you must prepare for the transition and use of digital textbooks in your school and classroom.
The time is here.
It is unfortunate. Textbooks are being replaced. There is always the fear that books will become extinct. Instead of fighting the inevitable, find a happy medium so that all books do not disappear off the face of the earth.
Understand the reason for digital textbooks.
California Digital Textbooks Initiative leads the way and claims that digital textbooks are necessary for two major reasons.
- Money. Textbooks are expensive.
- Internet and the ability to update instantly. Textbooks are usually purchased on a six year adoption cycle. Print quickly becomes outdated. Textbooks are old before they are sold.
Textbooks are different than books.
Make the distinction. Textbook are a separate category. Be honest. Most textbooks are not worth saving. Now a great novel is different. Books are worth saving. Put energy into preserving the quality and beauty of books. A fight we can and must win.
Be ready. Prepare for the transition to digital textbooks.
- Analyze the current textbook status at your school. Know funding sources and numbers, adoption cycle, computer access, and other related information. Student access to computers is key.
- Research digital materials and publishers. Open source digital textbooks are free but may not be aligned with state educational standards.
- Give it a try. Start on a small scale with a few Kindles. Conduct an informal study. Ask students, teachers, and parents to participate and use Kindles for a few months. Get their feedback. It will give you a good understanding of what is around the corner. And a fun way to introduce an intimidating and emotional topic.
- Understand online reading comprehension. Learn how students read online and how online reading is different from traditional reading. Educate yourself and others. You are going to need this information sooner than you think!
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