E-textbooks may soon lessen a student's burden
Someone should check on how much money is contributed to state legislators by
the text book industry. This should have happened several years ago.
In other words, we are going to shut down the U.S. printing industry and lose
even more American jobs. Of course, it will create more jobs for China. America
will likely be a third world country in another decade. Children don't need
all the latest in tech. They need to spend time learning math, English, social
studies, etc. I keep being told kids are so smart these days because they
spend/waste hours on electronic gadgets. If they are so smart, why are do they
score so poorly on standardized tests?
Let's do a cost analysis. If a traditional textbook costs 65.00 and a
school uses it for 5 years (most schools use textbooks longer) then the cost per
student per year is 13.00. If a school uses a book for 8 years which is pretty
standard then the cost per student per year is 8.00. How much will
publisher's charge per student for licensing and renewal of online
textbooks? Significantly more I presume. Maybe the benefits would make the
increased costs worthwhile. The world is definitely changing whether we like it
or not but there are subjects that don't change significantly- math,
literature/reading, history etc. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to
switch to e-books- I'm saying it deserves a thorough cost-benefit analysis.
I think blaming a lack of technology for the underperformance of our schools is
whistling past the graveyard. Giving some knucklehead an ipad doesn't make
him smarter- but it might make him richer when he sells it for ten cents on the
Nice to see that we are finally moving to something that should have been in
place at least 5 years ago.One of the worst parts about our
education system is its lack of real innovation and the corrupt inefficiencies
that are both a contributors to and a product of that failure to innovate. The
reliance of heavy, static, costly text books is one of the best indicators of
the corrupt relationship of publishing companies and education organizations for
at least the last 20 years.
Not sure this switch will happen that quickly. At the University where I work, I
offered a free e- text book to my students. They all chose to buy the $100
regular textbook. Part of the problem is publishers still don't know how to
price digital material and the students are not willing to pay $80 for something
they could not hold in their hands.
Khan academy has math and science curriculum for free. They are probably very
low cost for a whole school district to use. So beware of any
politicians saying they are "investing" large sums of money for online
textbooks and curriculum.Don't we pay the public education
system enough to write and keep books and ebooks about subjects like math and
science that don't actually change much for gradeschool? You don't
have to outsource fifth grade curriculum creation when we are paying 100's
of doctorate level teachers to be administrators. I'm sure many teachers
would be happy to take a sabbatical for a year to help write and effective math
ebook.Politicians just need to let them and stop outsourcing to
their goofy golf buddies.
BloodhoundIndustries come and go and move with times. If it
didn't we would still have the Pony Express, telegrams, and blacksmiths.
The trick is to ensure that the move in technology is supported by workers
in this country.
PA Rock ManThat is weird. Why would they spend $80 on a book when
the e-book is free?
Bio-Optic Organizers of Knowledge (BOOKs) take many forms these days. We live in a digital age and should be open to the best, most cost effective
tools in education. For learning, it may be an e-book. For cozy,
sitting-by-the-fire enjoyment reading, it may be a good, old fashioned Gutenberg
descendant.The traditional textbook market is a racket that e-books
should shake up.
Power goes out or gets low and the kids can't read the electronic stuff.
Sounds nice - but it is a computer and when have you been to a computer
presentation that they did not have problems?Textbooks can be kept for
years. Will you even be able to read or access these electronic files in 10
Screwdriver - Khan Academy is good and free, but is not the answer. Khan Academy
is a good resource, don't get me wrong. It still requires an increased
investment in infrastructure. In our school rural school district we have tried
to use this in classes, but it (YouTube) requires so much band width that we
can't use it during school time.
"Will you even be able to read or access these electronic files in 10
years?"Dektol: Who reads their school textbook 10 years after
you have taken the course?
This is another bad thing for the education system. Yes it may make things
cheaper, but it is not good for retention of the materials presented.See "Do E-Books Make It Harder to Remember What You Just Read?" in
Time. They found that "that people on paper started to ‘know’
the material more quickly over the passage of time,...It took longer and
[required] more repeated testing to get into that knowing state [with the
computer reading, but] eventually the people who did it on the computer caught
up with the people who [were reading] on paper."According to
researchers, this is a bad thing in the long run fur the actual learning that
goes in in schools.
How about doing some primary research and conduct a poll among high school
juniors and seniors and see how many ever read their history and government
books? See how many are ever assigned to do homework from them. They lie, mostly
untouched, along the walls. Look further into campaign contributions to
legislators who get the committee assignments concerning school textbooks.
The technology myth is costly, and not true.Nothing beats
paper,pencil, and a book.
What is a kid more likely to do with a gadget? Play with it, app it out? What is a kid more likely to do with a book? Ignore it?And
lets not underestimate the physical benefits... backpacks get heavy when you
have five textbooks to lug home for homework.