On June 8th 2009, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the digital textbooks initiative. Beginning this fall California will be the first state in this nation to offer high school math and science textbooks in a digital format.
Digital textbooks are less expensive, easier to update, more portable, and use less natural resources. It seems like the digital textbook is staged to really take off and this is just one brief first step into the transition.
The first of the initiative will be implemented at Calabasas High School. The first phase will bring access to free digital textbooks for Math and Science to the school with additional content added at a later date.
Phase 2 is supposed to implement digital textbooks for all grades. This initiative should save California schools millions of dollars. An average textbook costs between $75 and $100 per student. So replacing 2 textbooks per 10,000 students could save up to $2 million dollars.
Traditional textbooks are updated over a 6 year cycle. Digital textbooks can be continually updated and contain current information. This will not only help California’s students compete in the global economy.
But with the current budget issues facing California and school budgets this will free up funds to be used in other needed educational areas.
You can read more about the Digital Textbook Initiative at the Governor’s site.