The Ed Tech Roundup: What can you tell us about the state of digital texts and resources in K–12?
Richard White: What we are seeing is what institutions are struggling with — and this is K-12 and higher education — they're struggling with the transition to digital content.
ETR: Is that because of infrastructure? Ideas about best practices? Both?
White: I think, first of all, most K–12 organizations today still feel they must provide a printed version of the book ... the digital version of the book is something that's coming, and they can all see this wave coming, but they also want to transition over multiple years. Also, if you’ve got fairly under-funded [information technology] departments … Unless a school board is prepared to go off and buy iPads for all their kids, affordability and accessibility are issues that all parties are working on.
ETR: What's a key question, then, that the attendees at Simplified Summit, should keep in mind about the push for a digital-text transition?
White: We're going to move towards an electronic future with the delivery of digital content. [Schools] need to take back the ownership, I think, of education in its entirety, including the delivery of a singular experience, a student-focused experience. We can see that this approach — giving students a common platform, giving them access to content on the first day of classes — leads to better grades. It leads to better student outcomes. It leads to better jobs.
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