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I'm a parent of two high school students and a recent publisher of an ebook geared toward middle grade kids. My recent experience with publishing is that ebook writers can get the same if not more royalty per sale over a paper copy, because the cost of paper publishing is so high. The future of kids getting the info contained in a textbook on a pad or other device is inevitable. Lighter backpacks are just one of the huge benefits. I imagine it will be challenging during the transition from paper to electronic as richer communities will be able to afford the readers first and poorer communities will be using the leftover and increasingly out of date textbooks. Right? And for now, computer devices are too fragile for at least my kids' level of attention to property. My son and daughter both broke their cells within the first two months of owning them. The newest technology is the most fragile, I guess. We'll see if Apple and then others can make readers/pads indestructible.

The other comment I wanted to make was will our kids be using readers or other devices for reading fiction -- assigned in classes or for pleasure. I got involved/curious as a result of publishing Glass Palace (shameless commerce!) on Amazon. I intended to use the e-book publication as a stepping stone to getting it published in paper. But I've discovered a rather lively debate about the future of where our kids will read as a result. While I love the feel of paper, I don't see how this trend toward having information on devices would stop short at fiction and for any age. (Except for the breakable devices issue, which will soon be overcome, I bet).

Math Whisperer

High school math students can benefit, too

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Here is one example from Algebra, known to be the gatekeeper for high school graduation and college. The order of operations is a critical topic. Currently, students memorize the order, possibly helped by a mnemonic device, PEMDAS. Contrast that to being able to see an animated story that makes the order of operations actually MAKE SENSE. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bhh0z74RVk

Millions of students have difficulty with the historical tradition of memorization. Well designed digital textbooks in math offer a road to success for these students.

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I hate seeing school bookrooms full of heavy, barely used textbooks, simply because a new edition came out. If students can easily upload new editions to an ebook reader, this may solve that problem. But, I imagine textbook publishers won’t make as much money from ebook textbooks.

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