The future of textbooks in schools is digital.

June 2, 2011 by · 27 Comments
Filed under: Digital Era, e-learning 

One of the most frustrating elements of working in education and being a technologist is the lack of progress with digital textbooks. A whole raft of new curriculum changes have led to hundreds of new textbooks in the last few years but all of these were in paper form. What about digital resources? Publishers continue to look to traditional methods and maintain their market share by producing cd roms and inserting them in the back of textbooks to encourage future sales.

Amidst all this disappointing lack of progress we have seen the tablet segment of the devices market explode in 2011. Surely these devices present a medium which is tailor-made for the creation of digital content within education. A recent TED video showcased a new publishing platform for the ipad which I believe offers educational publishers a route to producing compelling digital resources to support learning within schools. Push, pop, press are in the process of creating a publishing platform which they plan to license and which allows quick and easy creation of compelling interactive e-books. Take a look at the video to see what they have achieved with their production of Al Gore’s Our Choice.

It will be interesting to see how the publishers respond. Any future lack of progress should surely be a sign to those of us in education that we need to start publishing our own content. After all we used to pay people a lot of money to produce websites due to the specialist skills required. Then WordPress, Joomla et al came along and showed us that maybe it wasnt so difficult to do it ourselves.