According to this DMN story, the electronic textbook revolution hasn’t exactly taken hold just yet, at least not in the Metroplex.
The [Texas Education Agency] has budgeted more than $800 million for textbooks in 2010-11, but it’s not clear how much of the money districts will use on digital materials. Many schools simply don’t know the extent of what’s available, [John Lopez, the agency's director of instructional materials and educational technology] said.
Dallas ISD officials say they have no plans yet to use online textbooks in their classrooms. Virginia Cotten, McKinney ISD’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said her district supports technological development but is in an “exploratory” position when it comes to incorporating digital materials into curriculum.
Jim Hirsch, Plano ISD’s associate superintendent for academic and technology services, said that district will make its first “large foray” into electronic textbooks next year by giving secondary students online access to English language arts texts.
Irving ISD, which has provided laptops to all high school students for almost a decade, is one of the strongest advocates for online textbooks. But even the region’s technological vanguard is hesitant about the transition.
I haven’t heard as much as a peep about electronic textbooks here, either. After production for Houston Have Your Say finished up on Tuesday evening, I found HISD Trustee Paula Harris, who was one of the panelists for the show, and asked her what HISD’s plans were. She told me this will be coming, but there aren’t any plans for the electronic textbooks just yet. HISD obviously has a lot on its plate right now, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this remains on the back burner for a year or more. My advice if you want to see this happen sooner than that would be to contact your own trustee and ask him or her the same question.