Polish educational system are making technology progress in last years. We lately received online grade book and the next step seems to be mobile app with school textbooks. For polish schools, digital textbooks is a huge leap towards educational and technology evolution. According to information from Ministry of Education about “Digital School” programme the basic functionality and tech behind e-textbooks has been established. Actually, LITE version of mobile apps for three leading mobile OS supposed to be available this June. We should be able to download materials to PC for offline reading as well as print interesting parts for further studies.
E-textbook features includes:
- accordance to education programs,
- user-friendly menu,
- graphics (illustrations, photos, maps, charts, set of tables useful and understandable for students)
- list of topics and content adjust to promote and motivate students
- intuitive navigation,
- visualization tools (like zoom),
- editorial tools (like notes),
E-textbooks will in time replace printed textbooks. For now app in beta can be downloaded. Ministry of Education is hoping to make e-textbooks available for every students in following years instead of traditional books. Special fund has been established for the families with children that cannot afford smartphones.
According to teachers, schools are not equipped enough with specialized setup to fully benefit of digital textbooks. Survey conducted amongst them shows low preparation of teachers to use e-textbooks, using computers are extensively better assessed. Academics says that mandatory digitalization of education process with “Digital Schools” programme cannot be implemented rashly. In their view, each and every one of e-textbook should be closely checked and tested to ensure highest quality and fulfill requirements of both teachers and students. Mentioned features of e-textbooks can help to enrich students experience of learning as well as teachers in their mission to pass knowledge.
Poland is not the first to implement changes to digitalize education. Many of European countries offers e-textbooks for students. They function partly as a supplement for traditional books, for example in Bulgaria. On the other hand, in Italy there is a choice between printed and digital textbooks. In Cyprus, where most of the schoolbooks are available digitally, once a week students brought laptops to schools in prototype educational program developed in March, 2012. In the late 2012 teachers elaborate recommendation for laptop usage during class.
E-textbooks can be the next big thing for education and its standards in Poland. Although there is much fuss about readiness of polish schools for such a breakthrough in education, students and teachers in Poland should have a eventuality of using advanced technology and tools for education.
Author: Paulina Kowalik