Chat

Are Digital Textbooks Starting to Click?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 2 p.m. Eastern time
Click here to view the transcript of this chat.


—Mark Lennihan/AP-File
Although advocates of digital textbooks have been touting their advantages for years, it wasn’t until California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a free, digital textbook initiative that the movement began to gain real traction in mainstream schools. But some experts say digital textbooks’ lack of purchase price can be offset by the cost of technical support and professional development needed to integrate them effectively into classrooms. Two experts have an in-depth discussion of the challenges and promise of using free, digital textbooks in K-12 classrooms.

Related Story:

Guests:
Brian Bridges, director, California Resource Learning Network

Neeru Khosla, executive director, CK-12 Foundation

Katie Ash, staff writer, Education Week Digital Directions, moderated this chat.


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 Are Digital Textbooks Starting to Click?(03/09/2010) 
10:07
Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Today's chat, "Are Digital Textbooks Starting to Click?" is open for questions. Please start submitting them now.

The chat itself will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Thanks for joining us.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 10:07 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Hello everyone and welcome to today's chat about digital textbooks! I am joined by Brian Bridges, the director of the California Resource Learning Network, and Neeru Khosla, the executive director of the CK-12 Foundation. We're very pleased to have them with us today.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
We've got a lot of questions already, but I wanted to start by having our panelists introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about what they do.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:02
Brian Bridges: 
I'm Brian Bridges and I'm Director of the California Learning Resource Network, a California state-funded project. Our job is to review supplemental electronic learning resources (commercial software, video, and web resources), data assessment tools, and free/commercial free web links. We've over 6000 reviews on our site, clrn.org. In addition, the Governor asked us last year to review digital textbooks.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:02 Brian Bridges
2:02
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent! Welcome, Brian.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:02 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:02
Neeru Khosla: 
I am the co-founder and ED of CK-12 Foundation. I am a molecular biologist in my past life and now focused on education.
CK-12 is non-profit foundation. Our mission is to provide free content that can customized and contextualized.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:02 Neeru Khosla
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great! Thanks, Neeru!
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
Neeru Khosla: 
www.ck12.org
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:03 Neeru Khosla
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Perfect. We've got a lot of questions to get through, so why don't we get started.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's one from Doug Levin, from SETDA.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:03 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
[Comment From Doug Levin (SETDA)Doug Levin (SETDA): ] 
As states begin to think more broadly about the use of their instructional materials funds - beyond the traditional textbook to digital and online content - what role do you think open content (OER) will play and why? Is this an important trend for state and district leaders to better understand?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:03 Doug Levin (SETDA)
2:04
Brian Bridges: 
Doug Levin’s question is quite relevant. OER will continue to be an important part of state adoptions, but I believe it will place second to the real revolution, which is the transformation of textbooks into interactive, online e-learning experiences.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:04 Brian Bridges
2:04
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting. Neeru - do you agree?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:04 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:05
Neeru Khosla: 
I believe that OER's have a very important role to play as they provide an alternative. State will have a hard time affording this content through the present forms we need to thin k about alternatives
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:05 Neeru Khosla
2:06
Brian Bridges: 
Both Texas and California legislation have enabled school districts to use state textbook funds to purchase digital textbooks. This is a trend that i'm certain will be picked up by other states.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:06 Brian Bridges
2:06
Neeru Khosla: 
@Doug Levin I agree with Brian that the real revolution is in transformation into livin gbooks
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:06 Neeru Khosla
2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
excellent. This question seems to touch on what you said about creating interactive learning experiences, Brian.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
[Comment From Andres HenriquezAndres Henriquez: ] 
Are developers and publishers adding value by enhancing digital readers to provide comprehension & understanding opportunities for struggling readers?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:06 Andres Henriquez
2:07
Neeru Khosla: 
Not only are Texas and CA moving to this format but we have many other states that are approaching us with
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:07 Neeru Khosla
2:07
Brian Bridges: 
We've not seen publishers marry themselves to a device yet and i think that would be unwise. Competition will help bring out the best method or type of device for these new resources.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:07 Brian Bridges
2:08
Neeru Khosla: 
We don't know anything about whether publisher and developers are going to do? But we're stepping forward to provide the format for digital readers.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:08 Neeru Khosla
2:08
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are there educational advantages that digital textbooks can provide that print textbooks can't?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:08 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:08
[Comment From patricia watkins lpatricia watkins l: ] 
can you explain what OER stands for?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:08 patricia watkins l
2:08
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
OER - open educational resource
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:08 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:09
Neeru Khosla: 
Yes, we can provide living books i.e. Media enhanced, Having Different Formats for learning accessibility for all types of students

Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:09 Neeru Khosla
2:09
Brian Bridges: 
i'm looking forward to seeing publishers add a richer level of content to their digital books, including embedded lecture clips, video clips, interactive activities, and assessments
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:09 Brian Bridges
2:09
Neeru Khosla: 
Updating ability and correcting in time, as well as individualization
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:09 Neeru Khosla
2:10
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting. There have been quite a few questions about digital textbooks accessibility. Let's take a stab at one of them.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:10 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:10
[Comment From PrestonPreston: ] 
Is California looking to require all digital books be fully accessible for use by students with disabilities?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:10 Preston
2:10
Brian Bridges: 
i had an audience member ask whether OER meant free. i've always assumed that the answer was yes. yes?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:10 Brian Bridges
2:11
Neeru Khosla: 
Sometimes OER doesn't me it is free - depending on the license type
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:11 Neeru Khosla
2:11
Brian Bridges: 
Thanks for asking Preston. I can't say i know the answer. i do know that all the phase one digital textbooks have been made accessible, but i've not seen a requirement for this.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:11 Brian Bridges
2:11
Neeru Khosla: 
@Preston - Yes, BookShare from Benetech is working on it
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:11 Neeru Khosla
2:12
[Comment From CarynCaryn: ] 
Can you provide a quick definition of what you mean by digital textbooks? Do they run the gamut from websites to Adobe PDF files, to e-book readers, to format for mobile devices? Is there a particular format that you think is the most effective?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:12 Caryn
2:12
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Answering that question may make it easier for us all to be on the same page. What exactly is a digital textbook?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:12 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:13
Brian Bridges: 
@Caryn. you're right on all counts. We've limited Phase One to a downloadable book, but as you said, there are many forms. we're going to begin focusing on web-based digital books in Phase 3.

Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:13 Brian Bridges
2:14
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Brian - do you want to go into a bit more detail about what exactly is going on in California, and what the different phases are?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:14 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:15
Brian Bridges: 
@Katie. digital textbooks can be as simple as an electronic version of a print book, which is exactly what we're reviewing right now. College professors and CK-12 have created a number of excellent books which can be printed out or can be read on devices. Digital books can also be web sites or interactive.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:15 Brian Bridges
2:15
Neeru Khosla: 
@Caryn. Digital Textbooks is not just text, but it is next generation textbooks leveraging technology to make content available in various formats
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:15 Neeru Khosla
2:15
Brian Bridges: 
Phase One of the Free Digital Textbook Initiative focused on downloadable PDF textbooks in math and science.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:15 Brian Bridges
2:15
Neeru Khosla: 
including print on paper, as well as on web and mobile devices
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:15 Neeru Khosla
2:16
Brian Bridges: 
CLRN received 20 submissions last June and the results were published last August. Phase 2, which began in january, added four history courses and two additional math courses for a total of 14 possible courses.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:16 Brian Bridges
2:16
Neeru Khosla: 
We at CK-12 submitted 7 books in the first round, and will be submitting more in the coming round
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:16 Neeru Khosla
2:17
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent!
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:17 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:17
Brian Bridges: 
CK-12 submitted 8 books during phase one and is continuing to submit during phase 2. their books performed quite well, mainly because they'r writing for the K-12 market exclusively.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:17 Brian Bridges
2:18
Neeru Khosla: 
We are also providing Teacher's Edition for these textbooks
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:18 Neeru Khosla
2:18
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Perfect. Here's a question about standards. Is that what the Free Digital Textbook Initiative is looking for when reviewing the books?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:18 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:18
[Comment From LucLuc: ] 
How can educators using open-source materials be assured that they will meet local, state, or common-core standards?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:18 Luc
2:20
Brian Bridges: 
@Katie. yes. while CLRN"s normal review process mirrors the state adoption process, we were asked to limit our textbook reviews to the content standards only. With our state adopting ELA and math common core standards this summer, we'll have to reset our reviews and our web site to account for them.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:20 Brian Bridges
2:20
Neeru Khosla: 
@Luc. In our own case at CK-12, we provide all of our materials are aligned to State Standards.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:20 Neeru Khosla
2:20
Neeru Khosla: 
The books come with alignment information preceding every chapter in the book
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:20 Neeru Khosla
2:20
Neeru Khosla: 
We are proactively working to align our books for the Common Core Standards
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:20 Neeru Khosla
2:21
Brian Bridges: 
@LUC. this makes our work a bit more expensive and will slow down everyone's work for awhile as content developers and CLRN regear for the Common Core. However, all states will benefit in the end because our reviews will be relevant in all states, not just CA.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:21 Brian Bridges
2:21
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent. I know that's a big concern for schools.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:21 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:21
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Let's switch gears a little and talk about devices.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:21 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:21
[Comment From hzrzavyhzrzavy: ] 
Are digital textbooks/Will digital textbooks be platform- and device-bound? I.e. will a school system have to commit to specific reader hardware (e.g. Kindle) to access the content?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:21 hzrzavy
2:22
Brian Bridges: 
Many people have asked hzrzavy’s question. Content developers would be mistaken to attach their resources to a specific device. The same could be true to attaching Digital Rights Management to future books.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:22 Brian Bridges
2:22
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
So, Brian, would your suggestion be to create content that can be viewed on a variety of readers/other hardware?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:22 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:23
Neeru Khosla: 
@hzrzavy. We at CK-12 provide our contents across all devices, including paper print, laptop computers through an online reader, and to mobile devices like Kindle via PDF and native formats
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:23 Neeru Khosla
2:23
Brian Bridges: 
But we're all dreaming about what classrooms and content would look like if students were interacting with content and not just reading it from a flat, frozen source.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:23 Brian Bridges
2:24
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:24 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:24
Brian Bridges: 
i'm a strong advocate of the ePub format, which is an open source e-reader format which can be read on a variety of platforms. i think, thoough, that commercial publishers will be creating stand-alone resoruces that contain an entire package.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:24 Brian Bridges
2:24
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I see. It sounds like it's something that's still being hammered out in some ways.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:24 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:25
Brian Bridges: 
We're on a wonderful journey and the final answer will not be know for some time.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:25 Brian Bridges
2:25
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Another question that's on many educators minds: cost. I don't know if you'll be able to answer this question specifically, but perhaps you wouldn't mind talking about this topic, in general.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:25 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:25
[Comment From Carl D. CooperCarl D. Cooper: ] 
For a K-12 district with 13,500 students, in general and on average, what would be year1 -3 start-up, acquisition and maintenance costs to go digital textbook for 4 core subjects (math, language, social studies and science)?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:25 Carl D. Cooper
2:25
Neeru Khosla: 
Content should be device agnostic
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:25 Neeru Khosla
2:25
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What are some of the cost concerns that schools should have when looking into this?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:25 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:26
Brian Bridges: 
@Cooper big question. i don't know the answer, but districts will need to look at the total cost of ownership for digital books and their devices.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:26 Brian Bridges
2:27
Neeru Khosla: 
Each textbook cost an average of $90. A netbook device cost around $200.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:27 Neeru Khosla
2:27
Brian Bridges: 
However, if digital books are sold at 70% of their current cost (30% is printing and distributioon) and devices come down in price, going digital will, in the end, cost less than the current model.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:27 Brian Bridges
2:27
Neeru Khosla: 
It is upto the schools to decide. If we want to be in 21st century learning, we need to leverage technology
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:27 Neeru Khosla
2:28
Brian Bridges: 
And if districts include open source textbooks, the cost savings are even greater.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:28 Brian Bridges
2:28
Neeru Khosla: 
Lot of our teachers are using projectors and print only what they need. This could be as minimal as $8 a book
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:28 Neeru Khosla
2:28
Neeru Khosla: 
As we move forward, technology (including Total Cost of Ownership) will cost lesser
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:28 Neeru Khosla
2:28
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Brian - can we briefly explain the difference between a digital textbook and an open-source textbook? From my understanding, open-source textbooks are typically digital, but not all digital textbooks are open-source.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:28 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:30
Brian Bridges: 
@katie. commercial publishers have created digital versions of their paper-bound books for many years now. CA has seen many of these. However, open source books typically begin as digital due to the distribution model.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:30 Brian Bridges
2:31
Neeru Khosla: 
@katie. Open Textbooks allow you to customize the content for your local needs
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:31 Neeru Khosla
2:31
Neeru Khosla: 
Commercial publishers won't allow the contents to be modified
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:31 Neeru Khosla
2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are open-source textbooks open for change, like a resource like Wikipedia, or are they finalized before they reach students?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:32
Neeru Khosla: 
You can have it both ways
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:32 Neeru Khosla
2:32
Neeru Khosla: 
We provided locked and endorsed content for CA
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:32 Neeru Khosla
2:32
Brian Bridges: 
@Neeru. this is a strength of open source books from Ck-12. Dynamic Books, just out, allows for this as well on the college level. Their books allow teachers to add content, vldeo, edit or delete content, and add assessments.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:32 Brian Bridges
2:32
Neeru Khosla: 
whereas schools like Leadership Public Schools are adapting the content for 3 levels
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:32 Neeru Khosla
2:32
Neeru Khosla: 
Standard Level, Below Grade Level, Below 4 grade Levels
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:32 Neeru Khosla
2:32
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:32 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:33
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Mary has a question about grade levels.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:33 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:33
[Comment From Mary - SCMary - SC: ] 
When the development process was started was one grade the focus - if so which - or were all grades tackled at once?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:33 Mary - SC
2:34
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are there digital textbooks available for some grades more than others?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:34 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:34
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Or are they being developed for all grades?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:34 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:34
Neeru Khosla: 
@Mary. When we started, we started subjects for high school at the right levels
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:34 Neeru Khosla
2:34
Neeru Khosla: 
In general, they tend to be single grades
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:34 Neeru Khosla
2:34
Brian Bridges: 
@Mary. In California, we began by reviewing only grades 9-12 since in CA, those books aren't adopted by our state board of education. This helped speed phase one.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:34 Brian Bridges
2:35
Neeru Khosla: 
CK-12 focus is for K-12
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:35 Neeru Khosla
2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a follow-up question from Mary.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:36
[Comment From Mary - SCMary - SC: ] 
What are your thoughts about starting at upper elementary - say grades 3, 4, or 5?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:36 Mary - SC
2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Does it seem like most of the movement with digital textbooks is happening at the high school level?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:36
Neeru Khosla: 
@Mary. We will be after completing our middle school program
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:36 Neeru Khosla
2:36
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Or are there resources available for elementary school students as well?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:36 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:36
Neeru Khosla: 
But, we do have Algebra strand for K-7 Algebra Prep
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:36 Neeru Khosla
2:37
Neeru Khosla: 
We do have middle school math and science books
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:37 Neeru Khosla
2:37
Brian Bridges: 
We conducted a survey after phase one and received 1000 responses. many people asked for additional subjects and grade levels.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:37 Brian Bridges
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question about teachers.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
[Comment From patricia watkins lpatricia watkins l: ] 
what kinds of educator training goes on with this transition to digital?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:37 patricia watkins l
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What do teachers need to know?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:37
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Does professional development play a role in this transition?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:37 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:38
Neeru Khosla: 
@patricia. We at CK-12 providing weekly webinars to make teachers and administrators comfortable with technology
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:38 Neeru Khosla
2:38
Neeru Khosla: 
But, keep in mind - there are many teachers who are self starters and have been using our system
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:38 Neeru Khosla
2:38
Brian Bridges: 
@Watkins. that's the $64 question. PD is critical to implementing these books. CA county offices typically provide 40 hours of PD to help teachers integrate these books into lessons and i think we'll need to provide similar PD to any open source books
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:38 Brian Bridges
2:40
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Wow! 40 hours seems fairly significant.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:40 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:40
Neeru Khosla: 
Folks - we who are participating in this event are already leveraging technology
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:40 Neeru Khosla
2:40
Neeru Khosla: 
Using digital textbooks requires lower expertise than using this WebLive event
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:40 Neeru Khosla
2:41
Neeru Khosla: 
This could be as simple as downloading the book and sending it to your copier
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:41 Neeru Khosla
2:41
Brian Bridges: 
yes, but each new book teachers receive represent a completely different set of content experiences for students, so our state board and legislature believe it's important.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:41 Brian Bridges
2:41
Neeru Khosla: 
All you need is to download from here http://about.ck12.org/ca/freetextbooks
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:41 Neeru Khosla
2:41
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting. It sounds like there's quite a bit of variety in what levels of technical expertise is needed.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:41 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:42
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Let's talk a little about research.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:42 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:42
[Comment From DeeDee: ] 
Has there been any assessment and correlation of the impact on the use of digital textbooks with learning and standardized test scores?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:42 Dee
2:42
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Is there any research on this yet?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:42 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:42
Brian Bridges: 
@Dee. Care to earn your doctorate by helping us with this?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:42 Brian Bridges
2:42
Neeru Khosla: 
@Dee. This year we are doing a pilot study since we developed these books
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:42 Neeru Khosla
2:43
Neeru Khosla: 
@Brian. Agree with Brian. I second Brian's question.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:43 Neeru Khosla
2:43
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Haha
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:43 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:43
Brian Bridges: 
@Dee hard data and research takes years, so it may be some time before this can be studied.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:43 Brian Bridges
2:44
Neeru Khosla: 
The pilot teachers we are working with have told us they feel comfortable their students will be prepared for standardized testing using our FlexBooks
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:44 Neeru Khosla
2:44
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's another important question:
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:44 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:44
[Comment From hzrzavyhzrzavy: ] 
Have you encountered pronounced qualitative differences in the digital textbooks you reviewed? Without naming publishers or authors, have you found some that were significantly better or worse than others? If so, what were your criteria for judging?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:44 hzrzavy
2:45
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What are you looking at when you evaluate books, Brian?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:45 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:46
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Cynthia has a question that relates to this topic:
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:46 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:46
[Comment From cynthiacynthia: ] 
As a former school board member and a parent, I would like to know how to review and approve an open textbook since its content can be changed at any time
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:46 cynthia
2:47
Brian Bridges: 
@hzrazvy we have two separate ideas. First, and this is what we did, does the book really have the content it professes to have? does it teach all the content standards? SEcondly, and we've not ventured here due to many reasons, is the issue of quality. how good is the book? do students connect to it? is there sufficient media? are their additional materials like lesson plans, power point presentations, assessments?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:47 Brian Bridges
2:47
Neeru Khosla: 
@Cynthia. If you want an endorsed content - just download the endorsed content
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:47 Neeru Khosla
2:47
Neeru Khosla: 
You don't have to use the continuously improved books
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:47 Neeru Khosla
2:47
Neeru Khosla: 
In many cases, districts are creating their own versions and endorsing them
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:47 Neeru Khosla
2:48
Neeru Khosla: 
The Teacher doesn't have to create his/her own version
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:48 Neeru Khosla
2:48
Brian Bridges: 
in CA, we required that books be "frozen" for 2 years. however, publishers can update at anytime and submit the new version for review. CK-12 has done this with several books and i salute them for it.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:48 Brian Bridges
2:48
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Perfect.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:48 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:48
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Carl.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:48 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:48
[Comment From Carl D. CooperCarl D. Cooper: ] 
What has been the overall response of parents and of students
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:48 Carl D. Cooper
2:48
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
How do students and parents feel about digital textbooks?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:48 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:49
Neeru Khosla: 
@Carl. We have summer intern programs and have had 50 HS students for more than two years
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:49 Neeru Khosla
2:49
Brian Bridges: 
@Cooper. hard to say since acutal implementation is light right now. we're some distance from a tipping point.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:49 Brian Bridges
2:49
Neeru Khosla: 
The students loved the books and parents encourage their students to come back
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:49 Neeru Khosla
2:50
Neeru Khosla: 
Our employees as parents love the program. Our pilot students think it is cool.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:50 Neeru Khosla
2:50
Brian Bridges: 
@cooper. we're on a journey right now from printed, flat, and boring, to something that is much more interactive and media rich.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:50 Brian Bridges
2:50
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
It seems like this question sort of relates back to the need for research over the next few years.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:50 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:50
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Mark's question touches on what you just mentioned, Brian.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:50 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:50
[Comment From Mark GageMark Gage: ] 
Does anyone know what percentage of K-12 students in the U.S. are actually using ebooks in the classroom or at home?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:50 Mark Gage
2:51
Brian Bridges: 
@katie. i completely agree. there is much to be studied
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:51 Brian Bridges
2:51
Neeru Khosla: 
We would love to work with and co-propose NSF research proposals
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:51 Neeru Khosla
2:51
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
How widespread is the use of digital textbooks? Sounds like it's just getting out of the gate at this point. Would you both agree?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:51 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:52
Neeru Khosla: 
Yes, we agree. But, the trends are towards electronic distribution combined with print or ereaders
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:52 Neeru Khosla
2:52
Brian Bridges: 
@gage. we don't have that data. @katie. we're aware of only a few districts that are implementing, but i'd guess there are more. again, this is a journey. Not too many people bought Kodak's $13K 1MP digital camera in 1991, but 10 years later, we all owned one.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:52 Brian Bridges
2:53
Neeru Khosla: 
The key is 'electronic dissemination'
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:53 Neeru Khosla
2:53
Brian Bridges: 
this is a change process with a disruptive innovation.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:53 Brian Bridges
2:53
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What role are textbook publishers playing in this?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:53 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:54
Neeru Khosla: 
Textbook publishers are start thinking about how to embrace this
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:54 Neeru Khosla
2:54
Brian Bridges: 
@katie. Quite a large one. While Pearson submitted a few books in phase one, their acutal work is behind the scenes. they've established a new division/company empowered to create the next genearation of online, interactive books.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:54 Brian Bridges
2:54
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:54 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:55
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's an interesting question from Doug.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:55 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:55
[Comment From Doug Levin (SETDA)Doug Levin (SETDA): ] 
How well has the traditional instructional materials paradigm - centered on the notion of one textbook per child per subject - served students?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:55 Doug Levin (SETDA)
2:56
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Is the idea of one textbook per child something that goes hand-in-hand with digital textbooks? Or does that paradigm shift when digital textbooks are introduced?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:56 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:57
Brian Bridges: 
@levin. i can't speak for our state board, but our state requires that all students have access to the adopted learning resources. it sounds like you're asking a research question.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:57 Brian Bridges
2:57
Neeru Khosla: 
@Doug. Yes, it does. With digital we can provide customized content for each student. It can also address access issues.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:57 Neeru Khosla
2:58
Neeru Khosla: 
We are assuming that we are not talking about one book version for the whole class. We are talking about one unique book per student.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:58 Neeru Khosla
2:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Perfect. That's just about all the time we have for today. Neeru, Brian, do you have any closing ideas you'd like to leave with our guests?
Tuesday March 9, 2010 2:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Brian Bridges: 
This is the journey of a 1000 miles and we're but on the first few steps. stay tuned for incredible developments around the country.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:00 Brian Bridges
3:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thanks, Brian!
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
[Comment From hzrzavyhzrzavy: ] 
Thank you for taking my questions -- these were great answers. Thank you, EdWeek, for hosting this.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:00 hzrzavy
3:00
[Comment From patricia watkins lpatricia watkins l: ] 
1:00 p.,m., gotta run, thanks for the challenging discussion..
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:00 patricia watkins l
3:00
[Comment From Mark GageMark Gage: ] 
Thanks! This was great! Thanks Brian and Neeru!
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:00 Mark Gage
3:00
Neeru Khosla: 
We need every teacher to understand that this is a new journey and that we need not be affraid of it. Pick up and be pioneers and innovate. We will make a dent in our childrens lives.

Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:00 Neeru Khosla
3:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Excellent! Thank you so much, Neeru.
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thanks very much to both of our guests as well as all the great questions. This was a great discussion!
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:01
Edweek Producer: Jennifer: 
Thanks again to everyone for joining us for today's chat "Are Digital Textbooks Starting to Click?".  For more information on this topic, check out Digital Directions at www.edweek.org/dd.

And please make sure to check out other upcoming Education Week chats at www.edweek.org/go/chats
Tuesday March 9, 2010 3:01 Edweek Producer: Jennifer
3:01
 

 
 
 

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