Education chief wants textbooks to go digital

By staff and wire service reports, eSchool News, October 3, 2012 — Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Oct. 2 called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” he declared.

It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the times, Duncan said in remarks to the National Press Club. It’s about keeping up with other countries whose students are leaving their American counterparts in the dust.

The transition from print to digital instruction involves much more than scanning books and uploading them to computers, tablet devices, or eReaders. Proponents describe a comprehensive shift to immersive, online learning experiences that engage students in a way a textbook never could.

Experienced educators are calling for caution against moving too rapidly, however.

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