The question as to when (or if) paper textbooks will be replaced with digital editions keeps cropping up, and I was asked this again on twitter today by @SteljesEdn: “Are textbooks coming to the end of their life? what do you think”: read the discussion we had on the link.
So, will they? I don’t think so, not any time soon at any rate. The digital editions of textbooks currently available are little more than a PDF of the printed version, and for publishers that literally provide a PDF and call it an eBook .. shame on you! An eBook doesn’t have pages as the text is defined by the eReader device or software and can be altered by the individual: you cannot change a PDF text size except by zooming in/out.
In order for digital textbooks to really surpass the paper editions they need to offer more, and by more I mean embrace the technology and have embedded video, links, question & answers, and even link (in real-time?) readers from all over the world. Continue reading →
This NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) report was highlighted on the BBC News website this morning with the text that caught my attention – “there is clear evidence that technology can boost learning”. Powerful words. What’s worse, however, is that it also confirms what we’ve all thought for a while now, that while “digital technology that has the power to transform education [it] often sits in boxes because teachers do not know how best to use it, a study claims.”
Excellent news, proof that we’re all talking sense then when we try and use current and emerging technology in a manner to improve what we do and how students can use it to their advantage? When talking about expensive technology, the report found that
“they say that too often they are used without a strong understanding of their power to transform education, and many schools still use technology to support 20th Century teaching methods and learning objectives.”
I wonder, has anyone actually explained to these Schools’ what they’re buying, or is just someone sat down with a catalogue and a budget and told they have to spend the budget, even if they don’t need or want it, or they don’t get anything next year, when they may need it? Do Schools get any training on the tech they buy other than “this is how you switch it on and connect to it the network”? Anything contextual or helpful is probably left to the School’s ICT Co-ordinator to figure out for him/herself.
“We have lots of examples of brilliant use of technology from all over the world and this report brings them all together.”
Excellent, I’ll be spending some time reading this then. Click the image above or use this link to download the full ‘Digital Learning’ report.
Are you thinking ahead to conferences next year, which ones you’ll attend and which ones you’ll submit to? Yeah, me too, which is why this ‘teaser’ video from the Plymouth Enhanced Learning Conference (PELeCON, April 10-12, 2013) couldn’t have come at a better time:
The topic/theme for PELeCON next year is “Digital Learnscapes: Meeting Future Challenges”:
“We live in a period of change and uncertainty. Many are bewildered by these changes and find it difficult to keep up, particularly in the education and training sectors. The ability to anticipate and prepare for change is the mark of innovative educators, as is the skill of harnessing new and emerging tools to promote good learning.
“At Pelecon 13 we want to provide learning professionals with opportunities to explore, discover and discuss new approaches, new technologies and new ideas to enhance, enrich and extend their own professional practice. There will be particular emphasis this year on simulations and games, personal learning tools, new pedagogies and practices, learner and teacher voice, and digital literacies.”