Friday, January 20, 2012


One of the exciting new advancements in education technology is the shift from hard copy textbooks to digital textbooks. There are a number of advantages to digital textbooks. First, publishers are offering the ability for schools to customize the content and cost structure of the digital textbook based on their needs. For example, a school may only be interested in purchasing certain chapters of a textbook relevant to their instruction.

Second, students no longer have to carry multiple, heavy books. All the digital textbooks can be loaded onto one mobile computing device. Students are more organized and less likely to forget one device.

Third, digital textbooks can be updated in real time, rather than having to wait for a supplementary or new edition at an added cost.

Recently, publishers and electronic manufacturers have also added highlighting and note taking capabilities, as well as included interactive elements in the digital textbook, such as streaming videos. One example is Inkling, a textbook company that offers education textbooks with interactive movies, diagrams, quizzes, and commentary. Schools can purchase these digital texts on a chapter-by-chapter basis, and many are free. For more information, visit

Today, Apple announced they have developed a free app—iBooks 2— for viewing interactive digital textbooks on the iPad. In addition, they announced partnerships with three of the largest textbook publishers—McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt—to offer interactive digital textbooks priced at $14.99 or less and another free app—iBooks Author—that allows teachers to create digital textbooks from their existing presentation and digital content. For more information, please visit


  1. CyberVision Text has an interactive textbook for 4th grade Idaho Studies that was adopted last year and automatically updates material, such as the census data for Idaho and the U.S. However, we have not received any orders from schools or the depository. There appears to be a lack of interest by teachers.

  2. There is an interactive book for Idaho available from CyberVision Text and has been adopted since early last year. Why aren't the schools in Idaho using this book?

  3. Idaho has an opportunity to be a step ahead of the rest of the school systems in the United Sates because, to the best of my knowledge, it already has an Interactive Electronic Textbook available for 4th grade social studies. An interactive textbook is a generation ahead of digital textbook. I believe someone somewhere along the line has dropped the ball in letting the local school systems know that "The 43rd Star: Idaho and Its People" by David A. Bice is available through the depository.