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West Virginia asks counties to plan for electronic textbooks

State taking a two-year hiatus on buying social studies textbooks as it prepares for a shift to digital resources

In encouraging a move toward electronic textbooks, West Virginia joins other states such as Florida, Texas, and Indiana.

The West Virginia Board of Education has suggested that all schools in the state start taking steps toward electronic textbooks and dependable ed-tech infrastructure for the future, state education department spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro said.

The state board of education recently implemented a two-year hiatus on the purchase of social studies textbooks, Cordeiro said. The money allocated for the books, roughly $36 million, instead will be spent on ed-tech infrastructure upgrades.

In encouraging a move toward electronic textbooks, West Virginia joins other states such as Florida, Texas, and Indiana.

Florida schools are preparing for a state-mandated shift from print to digital textbooks by 2015. Florida, Indiana, and Louisiana are among states that have added Discovery Education’s TechBook, a digital textbook for teaching K-8 science, to their list of approved core curriculum resources for this fall. And Texas recently passed a law that lets districts use state textbook money to buy digital materials.

More news about digital textbooks:

All Korean textbooks to go digital by 2015

‘TV textbooks’ bring access to low-income Florida students

Who needs a bulky textbook?

Virginia using iPads to teach social studies

Complying with West Virginia’s suggestion, though Cordeiro said it is not a mandate, Monongalia County Schools will not purchase any new social studies textbooks this year, Superintendent Frank Devono said.

Last year, the district’s Suncrest Middle School received a two-year, roughly $500,000 grant from the state to implement a more personalized and interactive learning experience for its students by using educational technology, said Monongalia County Schools Technology Director Nancy Napolillo.

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Comment:

  1. buzzygwood

    July 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

    This move to digital textbooks will take time, but in the end, makes total sense. I don’t think a laptop is the right form factor — maybe something like a tablet device such as an iPad seems appropriate. As for equity, schools need to build infrastructures that can support a variety of devices on their networks and encourage students to bring their own technology to ease the burden on schools from the unrealistic responsibility of providing every student a device.

  2. buzzygwood

    July 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

    This move to digital textbooks will take time, but in the end, makes total sense. I don’t think a laptop is the right form factor — maybe something like a tablet device such as an iPad seems appropriate. As for equity, schools need to build infrastructures that can support a variety of devices on their networks and encourage students to bring their own technology to ease the burden on schools from the unrealistic responsibility of providing every student a device.