Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 9 News List

Paper textbooks make way for electronic versions in US, UK

By Helen Pidd  /  THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

Becta says that schools currently average one computer between three students. But according to Ros Sutherland, professor in education at Bristol University, England, who co-authored a book called Improving Classroom Learning with ICT schools really need one computer per child if they are all using all digital resources.

Plus, she says, books offer something that digital resources just can’t replicate.

“You can flick back and forth in them quickly, you can scribble in them, it’s easy to share one between a number of students,” she said. “Though theoretically electronic textbooks can be much more interactive, the current reality is that a lot of them are little more than pdf versions of the paper book.”

“A colleague of mine the other day got it right when he said that if you could invent anything that’s as powerful as the book in the next 100 years we’ll have done well,” she said.

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