E-books in, textbooks out

Zooming too fast with the E-books?

My view on textbooks in the class room

The following excerpts are from recent posts by Nick Carr.


E-textbooks flunk an early test

MAY 12, 2011

When it comes to buzzy new computer technologies, schools have long had a tendency to buy first and ask questions later. That seems to be the case once again with e-readers and other tablet-style computers, which many educators, all the way down to the kindergarten level, are lusting after, not least because the gadgets promise to speed the replacement of old-style printed textbooks with newfangled digital ones. In theory, the benefits of e-textbooks seem clear and compelling. They can be updated quickly with new information. They promise cost savings, at least over the long haul. They reduce paper and photocopier use. They can incorporate all manner of digital tools. And they’re lightweight, freeing students from the torso-straining load of book-filled backpacks.


Zero tolerance for print

MAY 20, 2011

Politicians are usually sticks in the mud, technologywise, but that certainly wasn’t the case down in Tallahassee this week. Florida legislators closed their eyes, clicked their heels, and took a giant leap forward into the Information Age, passing a budget measure that bans printed textbooks from schools starting in the 2015-16 school year. That’s right: four years from now it will be against the law to give a kid a printed book in a Florida school. One lawmaker said the bill was intended to “meet the students where they are in their learning styles,” which means nothing but sounds warm and fuzzy.



This is all very interesting and expensive trials and errors and redundant as well.

The local high school (goverment funded) has plans for the Year 10 students to receive Netbooks, [Plans, Marvin, plans!] This is according to a student I know personally anyway. What will happen is anyones guess.

But as we all zoom down the information superhighway and get fibre to the home, are we going to come to a standstill and or trip badly?

Districts in Gippsland (population 239,647 and 33,264 km² (12,843 sq mi)) were without The Local Giants telephone network. Because this week, a power backup to computers in a major regional town’s telephone exchange failed. Monthly checks were not good enough apparently. It has been said on the radio that there was to be PLANNED power outage on that day! I am not sure if other companies were affected. Homes and businesses were without a dial tone most of the working weekday. I wanted a quote for my business and was left to use a mobile to try the consultant I needed- the local office was incomunicado, two days later, quotes required had to be ignored- too late to use!

The point I am trying to get across is: for emergencies, have you got keys and some wire and a lemon in your briefcase or shoulder-bag to power up your netbook/ipad/mobile(cell) phone?

Nah, ya aint.

Do you use the garage to enter your house instead of using the front door?

Yes? Where are the house keys then- inside?

So when the power goes off while you are out picking picaninnies from school, or on a conveyor belt parkway[road] from work, and the music station neglects to remind you that the brownout has been on for a while… Bad luck Marv.

Now, if all students from kindergarten age to university are using only electronic devices for ALL school work, they have to be able to

  • charge/power them up
  • use digital communications

And if they do not have textbooks or writing stuff like books and pens [dare I say it- calculators]…

And the lights go out, and the backup power generators fail, if they are lucky enough to have that at a government institution…

Then what use is zooming ahead with rolling out electric devices and dumping texbooks and writing  and recording equipment?

Okay, it may be for a day they will get along.

Zooming along digitally and PHUT phud phiz…

Printing presses junked for scrap. Typesetters out of work. Distribution networks collapsed. Paper and ink manufacturing lost.


A planned obsolescence strikes at the heart of the biggest economies in the world once power is too expensive?


About tone

Widowed exRigPigGeo 50yr old dad of 4 'teens', is doin' job raisin' kids, misses a lot of things. Family (close and extended) and Friends - an important part in our of life. Likes gadgets, speedsailing, reading (SF), geology/archeology, maps. Coffee monster- burnt out one espresso maker too many. Have to have plenty spare "moccona" in cupboard. Things I miss- Tarn. The rig life and income. A lot of sailing. Tarn.
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