Digital textbook for all in five years
by Iowa Future
February 2, 2012
The Obama administration this week poked publishers, computer tablet makers and states that control textbook adoption to move them toward digital textbooks with an eye on providing new opportunities for students and saving schools big dollars.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski and Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, speaking at a Digital Learning Day in Washington, D.C., challenged states and companies to ensure every K-12 student has a digital textbook within five years.
“We’ve seen digital textbooks adopted in pockets around the country, but adoption is not widespread and too skewed to wealthier areas,” Genachowski said. “Meanwhile, too many students still have textbooks that are 7 to 10 years old. And some students are using history books that don’t even cover 9/11.”
Genachowski and Duncan announced the Digital Textbook Playbook, a guide to help K-12 educators “begin building rich digital learning experiences.” The Playbook, developed by the Digital Textbook Collaborative, a joint project of the FCC and Department of Education, is designed “to encourage collaboration, accelerate the development of digital textbooks and improve the quality and penetration of digital learning in K-12 public education.”
Karen Cator, the Department of Education’s technology director, said the use of digital textbooks is one way to extend the school day by providing students with “interactive and engaging environments outside of school.”
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