Digital publishing specialist, The Digital Publisher, has today stated that unless text books are converted to eBooks, the projected 25% cut in education funding could wreck Britain's reputation as a world leader in teaching and learning.
With October's forthcoming spending review likely to place unprecedented pressure on education, teachers' unions are warning that "this level of funding reduction will inevitably include fairly savage staffing cuts".
However, The Digital Publisher in its education whitepaper argues that transforming text books into digital eBooks could save the UK £hundreds of millions and the jobs of thousands of teachers.
The idea is not new. In 2009 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared that all California's text books should be put online in a bid to substantially reduce the $350 million dollars it currently spends on the books.
Ian Jackson, Head of Digital at The Digital Publisher, says: "Our latest whitepaper, Advancing Education through Digital Editions, not only shows how much education establishments can save, it also demonstrates how eBooks can be far superior to text books because of embedded rich media in the form of video and audio as well as a host of other features."
Jackson continues, "Don't forget that text books are updated every couple of years but with eBooks these changes can be made in minutes for little cost."
The Digital Publisher's new whitepaper shows clearly how education professionals can use eBook technology to its fullest potential. Alongside embedded video and other rich media content, the eBook demonstrates features designed to assist students including digital bookmarking, contextual search tools, online page highlighter and page tabs.
Jackson adds, "eBooks are useful in many areas of education, not just text books - brochures, theses and prospectuses can all be transformed into digital editions easily and at a fraction of the cost of printing."
Advancing Education through Digital Editions whitepaper