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In 2002, the Center for Education Policy made the same observation vis-a-vis online learning. See, e.g.,:
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2011 on On the Purposes of Schooling at Dana Goldstein
Here is a related article just published on the shifts underway in Indiana:
It is truly fascinating to see the trend in the consumer market shift so quickly after years (and years) of little interest in eBooks. I have a few thoughts I'd share: First, I read your post as confounding eBooks with (dedicated) eReaders and also underplaying the fact that students in K-12 read a wide variety of traditional text-based content (including early readers and novels and plays and poetry). Some of this content - while it could benefit from interactive supports to assist students with reading comprehension - feels like it would be perfectly acceptable or even preferable to shift to digital without modification or enhancement. I'd also note that some of the texts that students routinely read are out of copyright and are already available for free online on sites like Amazon and Project Gutenberg: With re: to eReaders/eBooks, I think it important to note that eReading software - on the market or on the way - is designed to work on a variety of platforms and not just dedicated devices. It seems to me the allure of the dedicated eReader devices is their price point and usability - and, for some schools or students, the lack of further functionality may be a feature and not a weakness. Not that I have special insight, but I thought it was telling that the company Kno ( ditched their plans to produce a dedicated device. Could it be that the market has already produced/is producing eReader innovations that serve students? Finally - my last point would be the potential for OER to shift this dialogue. CK-12 ( is taking the textbook-to-eBook model on directly. They offer free Flexbooks, which are cross-platform, modifiable, and designed for education (i.e., standards aligned, teachers edition, etc.). It is a brave new world in educational publishing and - while I am hesitant to predict the one way the market will go - it is hard to imagine that students and teachers won't be very significant beneficiaries.
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Apr 20, 2011