Saturday, February 8, 2014

Malaysia introduced digital textbook that can be accessed online

I posted an article regarding mobile devices such as tablet to replace the heavy textbooks (thus getting rid of the back-breaking schoolbags) in 2012. Back then, using Tablets as the solution for heavy schoolbags was seen a long shot.

Fast forward to yesterday. The Education Ministry hinted a move that would solve not one but two issues with printed textbooks - accessibility and health (ergonomic) of students.

Sure, there would be pros and cons to using digital/online textbooks after using the printed versions for generations but I have confidence we will be able to find ways to get around them.

Textbook survey done in the US in 2012 by By now, the percentage would have skewed further towards digital.

Digital textbook to take national education system to greater heights
Bernama, February 7, 2014

The Education Ministry today introduced digital textbook that can be accessed online as an alternative to the printed version in a bid to take the national education system to greater heights. Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the use of the digital textbook, with flippable pages of text and graphic, would be implemented at all schools in stages beginning this year.

"This is a process of developing and improving our national education system to be the best in the world. We are now among one-fourth of the countries in the world that had implemented it.

"We are emphasizing on self-education where pupils and students can refer to the textbook at any time and place based on their respective levels," he told reporters after launching the digital textbook here today.

Idris said in the first phase of its implementation (2013-2015), the ministry had uploaded 313 textbooks that could be accessed free of charge through the 1BestariNet portal using the ID provided to all teachers and students.

However, he said, right now, the printed textbook was still being used. For the record, the digitalisation of school textbook is being done in three phases as stipulated in the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

For the second phase (2016-2020), the ministry is planning to produce interactive textbook for selected subjects, which will contain elements of text, graphic, audio-visual and animation, to help students understand the subject better.

The third phase (2021-2025), on the other hand, will see the publication of digital textbook for all subjects, including for students with special needs.

Idris said when the time comes, schoolchildren would be allowed to bring their own electronic devices, such as tablet and iPad, to access the digital textbook at school to replace the printed version.

TheGreenMechanics: Few issues that needs to be addressed are accessibility/affordability of electronic gadgets to store and access the digital textbooks, connectivity, control of access to the internet, and abuse of the electronic media, to name a few.

We cannot run away from this change, but it doesn't meant it is not worth looking at.

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