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By staff and wire service reports, eSchool News, October 3, 2012 — Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Oct. 2 called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” he declared.

It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the times, Duncan said in remarks to the National Press Club. It’s about keeping up with other countries whose students are leaving their American counterparts in the dust.

The transition from print to digital instruction involves much more than scanning books and uploading them to computers, tablet devices, or eReaders. Proponents describe a comprehensive shift to immersive, online learning experiences that engage students in a way a textbook never could.

Experienced educators are calling for caution against moving too rapidly, however.

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Are Printed Textbooks Obsolete?

By staff and wire service, eSchool News -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Oct. 2 called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” he declared.

It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the times, Duncan said in remarks to the National Press Club. It’s about keeping up with other countries whose students are leaving their American counterparts in the dust.

South Korea, which consistently outperforms the U.S. when it comes to educational outcomes, is moving far faster than the U.S. in adopting digital learning environments. One of the most wired countries in the world, South Korea has set a goal to go fully digital with its textbooks by 2015.

“The world is changing,” Duncan said. “This has to be where we go as a country.”

Read the full story by clicking here.

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