Digital Textbooks & Their Impact On Schools

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  • Hi, my name is Katie Kalajian and today I will be discussing Digital Textbooks and their impact on schools.
  • Digital textbooks are books that are available in digital format as opposed to an actual textbook. This digital format has become more and more popular due to multiple circumstances.
  • First of all, digital textbooks make it easy for the teachers to interact with students in regards to textbook material because they can project the material onto a screen. Also, information in these textbooks are more up-to-date.
  • One of the biggest reasons for going digital is because digital textbooks cost less than traditional textbooks. During this economic crisis, it is important to spend money wisely, and using digital textbooks is a great way to save money.
  • There are three important aspects of digital textbooks. According to writer Nicole Allen, digital textbooks should be affordable, printable, and accessible to all students.
  • Digital textbooks will impact students of all ages. Even younger kids are more interested in technology, which will make them more engaged in digital textbooks. Also, college students will have an interest in going digital because it saves them a lot of money.
  • Many schools have decided to start using digital textbooks. One state in particular that has made a large step in integrating digital textbooks into their schools is California. In May of 2009 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the Digital Textbook Initiative. By providing schools with these free textbooks, the Governor argues that the state could save $400 million.
  • Congress has recently decided to take action in regards to textbooks by passing legislation that requires publishers to give prices of textbooks to teachers when sold. Also, Congress is trying to lower prices by saying that publishers may no longer sell books and supplemental materials together.
  • Although some schools are very excited about digital textbooks, some schools think the consequences outweigh the benefits. Though digital textbooks themselves don’t cost as much as regular textbooks, the price of computers and bandwidth is going to be expensive. Also, not every student has access to a computer which makes it impossible for these students to use digital textbooks.
  • Overall, there are many pros and cons of digital textbooks. Whether people like it or not, the world is becoming a more technological place and students are learning to use technology at a young age. Bringing this change in technology to schools will hopefully benefit students, teachers, and schools all over the world.


  • 1. Digital Textbooks & Their Impact on Schools
    Katie Kalajian
    EDU 290
  • 2. What are Digital Textbooks?
    Digital Textbooks are books that are now available in a digital format as opposed to an actual textbook
    These digital textbooks have become more popular because they cost less and are available to more people
  • 3. Background Information
    Digital Textbooks are also being used in the classroom because a teacher can download the textbooks and project them on a screen in order to interact with the students in regards to the textbook materials
    The information in digital textbooks are more up-to-date
    Author : History at the Higher Education Academy
  • 4. Why should we go Digital?
    Legislation was necessary because during this economic crisis, it is vital that schools try their best to lower prices
    Digital textbooks benefit students, teachers, and schools in general
  • 5. Digital textbooks must be:
    Affordable- they should cost less than traditional textbooks
    Printable- teachers should be able to print excerpts of a digital textbook at an affordable price
    Accessible- “students should be able to access digital textbooks online, store them for use offline, and keep a copy for future use”
    (Allen, 2008)
  • 6. Impact on Education
    • Students are more interested in technology, therefore they may be more engaged in digital textbooks
    • 7. For college students, they save a lot of money by not needing to buy textbooks
    • 8. Digital textbooks will be updated with the latest information in order to keep students up-to-date
    Author : Extra Ketchup
  • 9. California Schools
    In May of 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched the Digital Textbook Initiative which meant providing schools with ten free digital textbooks for the high school level. (Gov. Schwarzenegger, 2009)
    Governor Schwarzenegger argues that the state could save $400 million if the high school students just use digital math and science textbooks. (Surdin, 2009)
  • 10. Legislative Issues
    Congress has recently passed legislation that requires publishers to give prices of textbooks to teachers when sold. Also, publishers may no longer sell books
    and supplemental materials together since it costs more.
    (Surdin, 2009)
  • 11. Criticism about Digital Textbooks
    Not every student has access to a computer which widens the digital divide . (Lewin, 2009)
    Some school districts complain that digital textbooks haven’t met educational standards. Other school districts are worried about digital textbooks costing more than originally planned.
    (Chung, 2009)
    The use of digital textbooks would require:
    Teach training
    (Surdin, 2009)
    Since these are open source materials not everyone trusts them to be accurate
  • 12. Students no longer need to spend money on textbooks
    As long as students have a computer in front of them, they can access materials needed for their classes
    Students are kept up-to-date with the latest news
    It may cost more money to buy computers and bandwidth than schools save by not buying textbooks
    Not all students have computers to access the textbooks
    Not all teachers are ready to deal with the changes in technology
    Pros of Digital Textbooks
    Cons of Digital Textbooks
  • 13. References
    Allen, Nicole. (2008). "Course Correction: How Digital Textbooks Are Off Track, and How to Set
    Them Straight." Retrieved October 22, 2009, from
    < 4/ExecutiveSummary/163571>.
    Chung, Lina. (August 17, 2009). "Digital Textbooks offer a Long-term Solution." The Daily Bruin.
    Retrieved October 22, 2009 from <
    Extra Ketchup. (June 25, 2007). Flickr. Digital image. Web. Retrieved October 28, 2009 from
    "Gov. Schwarzenegger Releases Free Digital Textbook Initiative Phase 1 Report." (August 11, 2009). Office of the Governor. Retrieved October 19, 2009 from <
    History at the Higher Education Academy. (April 23, 2009). Textbooks in the Digital Age. Photograph. Flickr. Retrieved October 26, 2009 from
    Lewin, Tamar. (August 8, 2009). In a Digital Future, Textbooks are History. The New York Times.
    Retrieved October 18, 2009 from
    Surdin, Ashley. (October 19, 2009). "In some classrooms, books are a thing of the past." The Washington Post. Retrieved October 19, 2009 from <