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Dead tree irony

A school district in Texas has US$4.6 million in textbooks sitting in warehouses and school backrooms.

Why?  Because they must provide textbooks for all children according to the state constitution, and they do so in the classroom, but don’t give them out to take home because of damage and loss being charged to the school when they retire the books every 6, 7 years.  But students in this district are also issued laptops, so they use the online version of the textbook instead.  However, the online version is a no-cost add on to the purchase of the physical, dead tree textbook … not the other way around.

That’s right, for every dead tree textbook they can get online access for one student.

‘Jay Diskey, executive director of the Association of American Publishers school division, … characterized his industry’s transition from paper to computer-based products as a “slow movement.”‘

Got it. The rest of the world is moving to free-as-in-freedom and open content, distributed cheaply via the Internet and digital media.  Laptops are under $300.  Everything a school district spends on dead tree books could buy a laptop and city wide wireless for every student.  And the publishing industry is moving slowly.

Association of American Publishers school division, welcome to the Jurrasic era. See you in the fossils!