Free digital textbooks are coming to California, writes John Fensterwald on Educated Guess. Twenty-six math and science textbooks and one history book aligned to state standards have passed textbook review
What’s attractive are digital texts’ flexibility and interactivity. Teachers can mix and match content – pick a chapter from one book and combine it with another to meet individual and groups of students’ needs. Soon digital textbooks will incorporate videos and Internet links. And e-text readers – Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle – will be getting cheaper and more versatile.
CK-12 Foundation is leading the way by adding teacher editions and student activities.
It plans to embed hundreds of videos produced by Khan Academy’s Salman Khan, a former hedge fund manager and investment banker from Menlo Park whose self-produced instructional videos in math and science have made him an Internet cult figure.
In response to the budget crisis, the Legislature voted a five-year freeze on new textbooks for first through eighth grades. When textbook adoptions resume, probably in 2017, printed textbooks may be passe.