Sunday, August 9, 2009

Digital Textbooks?

Interesting NY Times article: As Classrooms Go Digital, Textbooks Are History. "Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web."

Much 0f the focus of the article is on California, where the Governator has decreed that the public schools will go to open source digital textbooks in the near future. But it won't stop with California, or with the public schools. Every professor I know resents the textbook companies and their monopolistic practices. We would dump the textbook companies in a minute if there were a decent alternative.

And yet ... what professors and textbook companies have in common is that we provide content. How long until digital textbooks morph into full-fledged digital courses, good for college credit?

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