Digital textbooks can save money, argues California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a San Jose Mercury News op-ed.
Today, our kids get their information from the Internet, downloaded onto their iPods, and in Twitter feeds to their cell phones. A world of up-to-date information fits easily into their pockets and onto their computer screens. So why are California’s public school students still forced to lug around antiquated, heavy, expensive textbooks?
. . . It’s nonsensical — and expensive — to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form.
But the transition won’t be easy warns the Christian Science Monitor.
By next fall, Governor Schwarzenegger intends to make free, open-source digital textbooks available for high school math and science classes throughout California, a move that he says will help reduce the more than $350 million the state spends annually on educational materials.
CK-12, a Palo Alto nonprofit group, plans to offer free Web-based content to schools and is eager to submit e-books to California.
Teachers will need training to use a new kind of book. And there will be technology costs: Not all students have computers at home.