Education is where the digital revolution will start

Posted by Otis Chandler on August 12, 2009
It's long been my belief that the digital book revolution will start in the classroom. The incentives are just higher, as the cost difference is bigger, digital books are more customizable and thus better teaching tools, and not to mention more convenient to carry.

The New York Times had a great article the other day titled In a Digital Future, Textbooks Are History that researched the matter a bit, and it's interesting to see that because textbooks are often paid for by the government (public schools), they are highly incentivized to go digital.

This quote in particular stood out:

"In five years, I think the majority of students will be using digital textbooks,” said William M. Habermehl, superintendent of the 500,000-student Orange County schools. “They can be better than traditional textbooks."

California, my home state, which is also particularly broke at the moment, was also mentioned as being interested in saving money on textbooks by going digital. Nothing like a down economy to spark change!

I also recently read a research report that shows what kind of ebooks we are all reading. It was interesting to see that trade books (what we all think of as a "book") are only a slim 5%, the majority being "professional & scholarly publications". I'm not 100% sure what those include, but I think we can say that educational materials are the bulk of it. And if we believe the article about Textbooks growing, that segment should continue to increase. It's also worth noting that most educational materials online are not in an ebooks form - many are just websites or videos - I bet the MIT or Stanford online lectures weren't counted.

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by June (new)

June Morgan I would love to see ebooks containing textbooks. The weight of middle school texts isn't getting smaller. Parents complain all the time about the weight. I truly do not blame them. I first thought that it would be computers issued, but computers seem more able to malfunction. Yes, they still need computers, but for research and work. Personally, I have a Kindle and an Iphone. Since Amazon has an app for the Iphone, I love reading my book on my Iphone. I always carry my Iphone with me; therefore, I always have a book to read. Thank you Amazon. Now, I challenge you to develop a Kindle for the classroom.

message 2: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Boutwell I am new to your site and find it interesting that just this morning in a meeting we were discussing how some of our textbooks will be going electronic, even to the point where they only have to purchase portions of the book (I work for a publisher).

message 3: by Jon (new)

Jon Unless e-textbooks are significantly cheaper than the physical equivalent I don't see this happening soon. I'm still not convinced that ebooks are a better alternative to physical books because the price is often the same or more. Since there is little to no cost of production for an ebook, the price needs to reflect a significant savings over the physical version.

message 4: by Morkel (new)

Morkel Kalis According to my research, I think a majority of students are using digital textbooks. It is a better than traditional textbooks. Being a research writer of, I also prefer digital textbooks.

message 5: by Allison (new)

Allison Lucas Learning and instructing are changing gigantically as schools move far from the mechanical classroom show and rather progress the part of the instructor to mentor. In this condition, the learning is customized Assignment Writing Help and understudies have a full decision on the equipment and programming they utilize.

message 6: by Bur (new)

Bur Han Now the future is here and we have digital notebooks and smart classes for teachers and this is future as you mentioned already that this is going to happen and now same has happned and everybody now trying to save paper and doing everything digitally which was done on papers earlier and have positive points and as well as negative points too going to put a blog on my website and will start writing about more about the same topic thank you for sharing.

back to top