WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Arne Duncan is calling for printed textbooks to become obsolete within the next few years. Duncan says the U.S. is falling behind other nations that are aggressively moving from print to digital for educational materials. He says a small number of American school districts are moving in that direction, but that the country must move faster. Duncan's remarks came during an address to the National Press Club where he also criticized the Republican-controlled House for failing to adequately invest in education. Duncan says Mitt Romney and the Republicans see education as an expense
Comments: Why keep forcing things on people? If the marketplace goes in this direction, so be it. But this will make buying second-hand books to save money a lot more difficult.
This means every school student must have the most current up to date computer w/software, at school and home for doing one`s homework. This will cost ?????, of course, but that`s just a small distraction mind you.
The core of Race to the Top is incredibly anti-parental voice and totally anti-freedom. It is entirely pro Big government control of every aspect of education. The administration will banish textbooks and supplant them with the Communist Manifesto. Forward into the hell of the Race to the Bottom.
Hmmmm... let's say we have a school that has 1,000 students in it. When we go digital for that school we will need about 1,200 digital readers (20 % overage for broke, stolen or misplaced readers)...so that will cost that school about $720,000 in some sort of electronic reader device (IPAD, laptop and etc @ $600 each), then we need to purchase the same number of books in electronic licensed format....so that's another $200,000 (est.). Now with some much electronic equipment going into use we are going to need an Wi-Fi infrastructure upgrade ....there's another $100,000), and then we need someone to keep are these gadgets working around the clock so we will need add staff (let's say one additional person with benefits...So that's another $60,000)......quick total is $1.1 million...just in that one school. My favorite question is who is going to pay for it? Now don't forget some cost may seem to be one-time in nature, but actually are re-occurring (salary is annually, replacement equipment is annually and new books and readers every 3-4 years if your lucky)
Sometimes embracing the future in everything we do is not in our best interest, remember what the 10 year cost of replacing books will be.....somewhere in the cost of $3.0 Million every 10 years....that's a stupid ideal!
I've nothing against e-books but this is nothing but another gimmick - and excuse. Student didn't need e-books before they were invented and they don't need them now. Reading from a screen does not magically aid comprehension just as having as computer did not magically produce better students. The problem is not and never has been devices.
Textbooks should become obsolete and will. They cost more to produce and distribute and in a decade will be gone. Awkward and heavy and unneeded.
School libraries will remain, staffed with the heavily credentialed awaiting retirement. Unvisited, most students won't be able to locate theirs and certainly won't be sure why it exists. If they are now.
Public libraries, same thing.
But the Twilight Of The Books is just about technology. Gadget changes are not important. We all struggle along fairly well w/o phonograph needles.
The problem, as others sense, is that nothing escapes the attention of those born to regulate. It is in their genes. Nothing is better than one truth as Orwell told us.
The Memory Hole for the first time seems possible, not yet probable, intangible and not yet real.
It must seem so near yest so far to the thugtyrants who accumulate at bureaus like DoED.
And what about the poor kid whose degenerate parent/older sibling/uncle/etc. decides to pawn the device? Or what if it repeatedly gets stolen? Do they fine the kid? How will the poor kid's family pay? There are tons of unintended consequences with this and the kids will absolutely be no smarter.
While we're at it, who needs the Dept. of Education. They have never educated a single child. Close down the money pit and cut taxes, so more money remains at the local school level, where it belongs (and used to be in the first place).
Change for the sake of change, with no redeeming features. 1 - The readers would become obsolete almost immediately. 2 - The readers would never be replaced for obsolescence, as they'd be destroyed by regular exposure to a teenager within a year. Take a look at a 16-year-old's phone for reference. 3 - The theft rate would boggle the mind. Few people steal a calculus text book other than out of just plain meanness, but an ereader can be hocked. 4 - The cost, as posted above, would be staggering. 5 - Ereaders work ok for reading TEXT, which you find in a novel, but are absolutely the pits for images. Things like graphs, pictures, diagrams, math problems... you know, all those things you find in a school book.
The Department of Education employs appoximately 60 to 70 thousands persons in DC. Plus, they have a budget of approximately $80B annually.
I suggest closing the Department and letting those 70,000 employees create new businesses.
In addition, of the $80B in savings, I suggest $30B go toward debt reduction annually and $1B go to each State anuualy for year one, and, a 20% reduction each succeeding year until the after 5 years the amount is zero.
We all know -everybody knows- the main reason South Korea and other countries outperform the U.S. in public education. It's not because they use e-books and we don't.
Further, the human race somehow managed to make it all the way into the 20th century without the benefit of a vast bureaucracy of specialized "educators." None of the great minds of the past had the benefit of the insights and knowledge of people like Mr. Duncan. They did not even have e-books.
Now we are told that basic education is such a complex, difficult, costly enterprise that it is simply impossible to spend enough money, hire enough teachers, fund enough education programs, purchase enough sophisticated equipment, provide enough free lunches (and now also free breakfasts) merely to achieve basic proficiency in the 3Rs. Enormous, unprecedented, hitherto inconceivable amounts of time, energy and resources have been devoted to the problem and we are STILL unable to equip large numbers of students with basic literacy and calculating skills, never mind giving them elementary knowledge of history and other subjects needed for good citizenship and informed political choices.
What on earth is going on? The more we spend, the harder we try, the worse the results.
Sorry 11/19 but I disagree about the need for textbooks--especially for math. Once upon a time I was an A student in algebra, geometry, trig. But when I need to help one of the kids with homework this dinosaur still needs to look back into the text to refamiliarize myself with the concepts in order to be of help. Checking out the examples from previous lessons is much easier with a textbook than leafing through an unorganized mess of worksheets or trying to go back and forth with an online textbook.
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