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Open Sourcing Textbooks

Based on legislation signed into law this week by California’s governor Jerry Brown, the state is taking the first steps toward becoming a major player in the textbook industry. And maybe changing it completely. The new legislation encompasses two bills: One, a proposal for the state to fund 50 open-source digital textbooks, targeted to lower-division […]

The Possibilities of Digital Textbooks

Digital textbooks are all the rage these days. They’ll save schools billions of dollars, and relieve kids from the burden of carrying around the paper versions. More than a few education “experts” have applied the “revolutionary” tag to the concept. And on that very subject, the US Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission […]

Textbooks Don’t Work

In a recent post on his Class Struggle blog, Jay Mathews explains why textbooks don’t work and hurt schools. His conclusions are based on a new book called “Tyranny of the Textbook” that discusses “why the $4 billion-a-year textbook business is so much a part of our schools’ mediocre performance”. Textbooks don’t work well. Research […]

The Silver Lining of Digital Textbooks

The Washington Post writes glowingly about an initiative here in the overly-large school district to provide online textbooks for students in middle and high school social studies classes. A few details the article fails to mention: The digital books may be cheaper than the paper versions but the publishers are still requiring the system to […]

For Love of Textbooks

Jay Mathews is waxing nostalgic over textbooks and tries to make the case that, not only are they important to a good education, but that they are making a comeback. To support the argument, he brings in an expert (meaning someone who wrote a book Mathews has read and agrees with) who says “the educational […]

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