By Matthew Tungate
Benny Lile, director of Instruction and Technology for the Barren County school district, and his technology team are anxiously waiting for the virtual textbook market to mature. Districts in Kentucky have gone three years with no state money to replace textbooks, and Barren County is using some that are 10 years old.
“We are limping,” Lile said, adding that the district hasn’t done a grade-level or subject-area replacement in those three years.
Lile knows that virtual textbooks are the future, saying, “It’s going to happen. The great unknown is when and how quickly.”
Even the technologically innovative district isn’t ready to make the move to digital basal resources – ones that serve as the primary means of instruction in a content area for a grade level or course.
The market is too unsettled, he noted. Despite the advent of “bring-your-own-device” programs and schools offering 1:1 initiatives, there is no standard Internet-enabled device yet. And the market for virtual textbooks also is unstable, with payment and copyright issues of open-source and publisher-produced copy still unsettled. Continue Reading