Posts Tagged ‘california’

Digital divide in California

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

'Divide' text

The following quote and information are from an NY times article Lewin,T.  ‘In a Digital Future, Textbooks Are History‘, NY Times

I will include a quick quote from Tim Ward, a senior education administrator in California.

A large portion of our kids don’t have computers at home, and it would be way too costly to print out the digital textbooks

This statement encapsulates the issues of the ‘new digital divide’ described by Green, H. & Hannon, C. 2007, ‘Their Space: Education for a Digital Generation‘ (see my previous post on this report).


Australia as laboratory?

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Syndey Harbour night panorama

Rudd’s laptop policy may make Australia an ideal place to test out opensource textbooks. If every grade 9-12 has their own laptop then the ‘old’ digital divide (access to hardware) won’t be such an issue. With the national curriculum coming in, this might be our chance to try something radical.

Just when I thought I’d had an original idea, see the link below for another link between the relevance of 1:1 computing and the open source movement

“There’s desperation with the budget in California right now,” Bridges says. “The digital textbook initiative would merge well with a one-to-one model, but there aren’t any funds to make that happen.”

Platoni, K. (2009, Dec/Jan). California Embraces Open Source Digital Textbooks, Edutopia, Retrieved from

… so goes the nation?

March 7, 2010 Leave a comment

As goes California - Brian Kenney

Brian Kenney (Editor-in-Chief : School Library Journal) has his say on California’s embrace of open source textbooks in his editorial, ‘As Goes California: A flawed initiative could become a fabulous opportunity, School Library Journal, Sep 2009’ . Link to HTML version here.

In Kenney’s opinion, California’s knee-jerk reaction to the financial crisis (going to open source science and maths textbooks could save $2 million USD) will fail. He sites the shortage of school and student computers and the lack of a complementary policy to roll out laptops to every student. Could this decision by California be increasing the edcuation divide between rich and poor?

This need not be bad news. California’s considerable might in the textbook industry may well lead others to follow, or at the very least, provide a counter-example to successfully implementing the open source textbook model. Kenney suggests that the move will ‘establish a beachhead for digital textbooks. Let’s hope it’s not another Gallipoli.

Kenney describes the open source movement as a boon for librarians and media specialist.

We could infuse these textbooks with different points of view in multiple formats, customize them to address diverse learning styles, and make them the launching point of Guided Inquiry.

He closes by quoting Marc Aronson, an educator/blogger (Nonfiction Matters)

Out of the rubble of the economic crash is coming this great moment of opportunity, we just have to figure out how to seize it.