More and more textbook publishers are turning to digital. While the electronic manual appears to be a promising tool, several challenges remain. This is what emerges from a conference on the e-course manual around the world delivered by Pierre-Julien Guay, coordinator of the Technology-education showcase, last fall.
"Sometimes, we favor the technological container to the detriment of the content and I wonder if it is not the same thing with the electronic manual", asks Mr. Guay from the outset.
What is clear, however, is that there are still several obstacles to its use. Based on a synthesis of use cases from around the world, he notes that the great promise of independent learning at home has not been realized, at least for now. Currently, when used outside of school, the digital textbook is primarily used for homework. “There is no independent learning because there is no tutor. The student is left to himself outside of class hours, which is not very practical, ”notes Mr. Guay.
The issue of rights management is also complex. "Ideally, we should be able to put together the commercial material, the royalty-free material and the artisanal material with a management of the rights of all that," he said.
For the moment, Mr. Guay notices that there is little enriched material appealing to all the possibilities offered by the electronic book. In addition, the real educational innovation remains to be done. “This is the case for most new technology adoption cycles. At the beginning, we use them in a rather traditional way before finding specific uses, ”he explains.
However, the educational effectiveness remains to be demonstrated. "There are lots of good intentions, but we have not yet succeeded in demonstrating significant learning," observes Mr. Guay. And in cases of intensive use, we noticed a decrease in social interactions. "
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