Sunday, November 8, 2009

Textbooks break in Texas. Steve Dowling, Pearson calls it "a tipping point"

I've been on my little soapbox about textbooks for a long time. All the blabla is going to be about digital this and that. They're wrong.

The real story is :
At the core of the new order, resulting from new legislation, lie three fundamental transfers of power and money:
  • from the State Board of Education to the Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency;
  • from three major textbook conglomerates to a broad array of computer hardware and digital content providers;
  • and from the state to school districts.

The full story is at The Texas Tribune: It didn't make any sense to repost here.

The opportunity is for versioned and personalized print, with 2D codes that connect to the web. What some seniors at Cal Poly are calling interactive print.
The Tipping Point: Texas Textbook Politics Meets the Digital Revolution |

“. . I’ve been at this 40 years, have been characterized as Luddites and other things not mentionable at a public hearing,” said Steve Dowling, a top executive at educational publishing giant Pearson, during a legislative grilling earlier this year. “But the truth is, we actually have moved a good bit of our content to digital . . . The challenge is, this is a slow market. It moves faster in the consumer space than it does where we are in education … But I think we’re – you know, the Malcolm Gladwell thing – at a tipping point.”"

Added Monday 11/9 6:28 AM EDT
What's the content?
It's possible the textbook giants will figure it out fast enough, but if not a disruptive model for journalism has emerged in Texas.

From Forbes:
the Tribune will partner with 10 newspapers and six TV stations to distribute content. In the works is a Tribune series called a "Texas Politics Minute," expected to air three times a week.

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