Sunday, January 31, 2010

Digital Textbook Initiative Enters Phase II

Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger of California initiated a digital textbook plan, and the process began for implementation of digital books in science and math classes. This year, as the initiative reaches phase two, the push is for adding social studies and extending the number of online resources to meet a variety of math and science content areas. Check the Digital Education Blog, “California Expands Digital Textbook Initiative.” In Phase I, teachers reviewed online textbooks for alignment with the state curriculum standards. The report, Digital Textbooks, Phase Two, sponsored by California Learning Resource Network, provides links to the state standards and the process for submitting suggested resources for review.

For background on the topic, read the earlier Digital Education blog, California Faces a Curriculum Crisis, as well as a number of blogs posted to “Computers in the Classroom” about digital textbooks. (See below for a list of three of these blogs.)

As California is often a forerunner in reform, do you think the concept of digital textbooks will spread to other states? One respondent to the Digital Education blog California Expands Digital Textbook Initiative wonders if New Jersey will follow California’s lead. What about other states, or do you think the initiative should be a national one?

What do you see as the pros and cons of digital textbooks? Do you think the shift to online books is inevitable? If so, what do we, as educators, need to do get prepared? What are the pedagogical benefits, the financial factors, and other variables to consider?

Here are three other blogs on "Computers in Classroom" that I have posted on the topic of digital textbooks:
"Textbook Graveyard" (September 16, 2009)
"Digital Media Replace Standard Textbooks" (August 9, 2009)
"No More Paper Textbooks" (May 30, 2009)

For some public, local opinion on the initiatives in California, check the "Sacramento Scoop," from which the graphics in this blog was obtained: Governor Schwarzenegger Wants School Textbooks To Go Digital.