Last month while at the eTech Technology Conference I was involved in a discussion about eBooks and laptop programs. The topic came up about loading eBooks onto the student laptops, and doing away with the traditional hardback textbooks. So far we have only heard promises from book publishers, and it seems that they really don’t want to make the shift away from those traditional textbooks. In speaking with our students, the laptops are heavy enough, and they really don’t want to add several books to what they are carrying around. The laptop is a great platform to load eBooks onto, but there just aren’t very many of them out there.
The topic came up again on an e-mail listserv that I participate in, and I spoke out again about publishers not willing to shift to eBooks. We have enough talented teachers in the State of Ohio to write the textbooks that could be used statewide and correlated to the Ohio Academic Content Standards. I offered to build and host a site where this content could be housed – for free. I’m working on creating a wiki that can be the home of this content. This content really shouldn’t be limited to Ohio, in fact it really shouldn’t be limited at all. I really like what MIT (and others) is doing with their OpenCourseWare project, and would like to create a similar project for K-12 schools. Please stay tuned for more information about the eBook website.