"Now is the time" ... "go from print to digital"

Karen Cator, the director of educational technology for the DOE talked today about changing from print to digital. She discussed (at ISTE) four ways that the DOE is helping make that shift:
1. Transparency (schools with access)
2. Digital Literacy (digitalliteracy.gov)
3. Bring your own device advice
4. Clearing house for professional networks

While she was talking tech across the board, I do see aspects related to digital books here, especially in the "bring your own device advice" section. This week Pew Internet released data that 12% of adults have an e-reader device, and that 8% own a tablet (only a 3% overlap). Add that to existing data on smart phones (31%) and we begin to the possibility of using ebooks with your own device in schools. I've always thought that the model would be to have some basic ebook device that could be provided, but if the student wanted they could go outside the school and get their own device. When I started using a calculator in schools this became the model (after we gave up our slide rules). There was a basic calculator set in the class, but most everyone when and bought their own depending on their needs. I try to use open source e-textbooks as much as I can, and then I make them available on the class learning management system to the students in a variety of formats (ePUB, AZW, audio). In my computer lab class they may use the computer to look things up or read from the textbook, but outside of class it is up to them, whatever device they prefer is fine with me.

How the Education Department plans to support the switch to digital
Federal education-technology czar Karen Cator, speaking at the International Society for Technology in Education conference Monday, outlined four ways in which the Education Department is aiming to support the transition from print to digital resources for schools. Among them, a new website indicates which schools across the country have broadband access, and another site offers a directory of professional networks for teachers who want to create online profiles that will be studied to determine best collaboration practices. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (6/28)