Throw those out-dated textbooks out the door because the digital age is bringing in a storm of digital books. According to govtech.com, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced plans to digitize textbooks to help aid the current financial burden in California.
Last week at a press conference held at Calabasas High School, Governor Schwarzenegger said that beginning this fall with math and science subjects, California will become the first state to issues digital textbooks to their high schools.
Today information is so easily available with the access of different technologies obtainable to students. It’s only natural that their textbooks should be just as effortless to access. No longer will students have to lug around heavy books or have to pay for such expensive books.
There are already many different outlets online where students can purchase electronic books like Zinio Digital Textbooks, ichapers.com, and ecampus.com which offer full books at half the retail value or less. It would be cheaper than the traditional paperbound textbooks, especially now when the schools are in a tight money crunch. Govtech.com said that if California turns digital, they would save an average of $400 million dollars yearly, which would greatly help the financial burden and aid school funding.
The good thing about electronic text is that rather than reprinting new editions of textbooks, electronic books would be updated instantly. Many students around the nation are still using outdated textbooks, but now students would be able to have the latest editions downloaded in a flash.
Not only that, but students are always heaving around heavy books on their backs, sometimes carrying too much weight than is recommended by medical professionals. According to The International Pediatric Association (ICPA), The Consumer Product Safety Commission approximates about 7,277 reports of emergency room visits every year due to backpack related injuries. These are problems which can become even more serious as the student becomes older---not having to carry huge quantities of books would improve student health.
Also using digital textbooks doesn’t just ease the burden on your back, it also poses as a positive point for the environment. Thousands of trees would be salvaged every year if textbooks became electronic. Textbooks are used until they are ripped, tattered and then discarded, but in electronic form, there is no worry, it’s a simple as hitting delete.
Even Sony created the Sony Reader Digital Book, a small tablet device which can download hundreds of full literary books, all in the convenience of this hand-held device. These types of “smart objects” are being used every day, and can eventually be integrated into schools.
In an article written for MercuryNews.com, Gov. Schwarzenegger said that it is time for California to take the reins of the Digital Era, and for parents and teachers to adapt to the vastly growing change in technology. “First California, next the nation, and one day the world maybe running on these digital textbooks. Everything else is digital, why can’t our textbooks be?”
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