Education secretary urges more digital textbooks
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is pushing for the use of digital textbooks, the Associated Press reports, in a move that could lead to greater adoption of tablet computers and other technology in the classroom.
Statewide digital learning initiatives are already underway in California, Utah, Idaho and Florida, the news provider notes, and many individual schools and districts are also embracing new technology. Duncan, along with Federal Communications Commissioner chairman Julius Genachowski, would like to see the programs expanded and is urging schools to get digital textbooks into the hands of students by 2017.
The US government also released a 67-page report to promote the use of digital textbooks in the classroom and provide schools with guidance as to how to implement the technology.
Digital textbooks and the technologies that support them have numerous advantages over traditional materials. Electronic media can be instantly updated, allowing schools to avoid spending heavily on new books each year. Students are also afforded access to a wealth of supplementary information, such as video and online resources, when using tablets, laptops and other devices in school.