Of the Governator and e-books

Pearson’s North America CEO, Peter Cohen, responded to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger’s recent call for a dramatic transition from paper to digital texts, according to Publishers Weekly:

“We believe it is important to take these forward steps toward an online delivery system and we are supporting the Governor’s initiative, recognizing there are numerous challenges ahead for the education community to work through,” including “how we ensure that low income and disadvantaged students receive equal access to technology; how we address the needs of English language learners; and how we protect the intellectual property rights of content and technology creators to support future investment and innovation.”

Schwarzenneger and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and the state’s Board of Education announced the California Learning Resource Network initiative (an excellent summary by the San Jose Mercury News here), which seeks to transition the state’s $350 million textbook and instructional materials budget to digital sources as quickly as possible. A complex submission and review system is described here (PDF), however it’s not clear that textbook publishers or the schools are prepared to deliver the same or better Continue reading