The story appears on

Page A4

April 3, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Education

First graders early adopters of e-book

IN the e-book era, local students will soon be reading digital textbooks.

The Shanghai Education Commission has set an ambitious plan to make all primary school grade one pupils use e-textbooks within five years.

The technology will be promoted to higher grades later, Ni Minjing, a Shanghai Education Commission official in charge of elementary education, told Shanghai Daily.

"Singapore and Korea have developed their digital textbooks through five-year plans," he said. "Shanghai, as a big metropolis in the world, should not lag behind.

"Parents won't need to pay for the e-textbooks or digital textbook reader with the increase in government investment in education these years."

Pilot programs of the digital textbooks have been carried out in several local schools, where students used tailor-made laptops to get their lesson, do their homework and take the quiz.

"I enjoy playing games which teach me how to write Chinese characters on the laptop," said Zhu Zhenhua, a grade one pupil at Shanghai Liying Primary School.

With the digital tool, teachers are able to deliver information in an interesting and interactive manner. Homework also becomes fun.

"I was surprised to see the assignments these kids handed in," said Gong Hua, who has taught Chinese at the school for 13 years. "I got pictures, videos and songs from the imaginative children."

Students are happier because the digital textbooks are much lighter than printed version. "My schoolbag gets lighter," Zhu said.

Previous reports estimated that most children carry more than 5 kilograms of textbooks on their way to and from school each day. Some schoolbags even weighed more than 10kg.

In comparison, the laptop adopted by the pilot school only weighed about 1.25 kilograms.

"A local student needs to consume 300 traditional textbooks in his 12-year compulsory education, while the digital device only costs about 2,000 yuan (US$290) to 3,000 yuan," Ni said.

Parents welcomed the device for its light weight and cost cuts, though some worried that it may harm kids' eyesight or distract them.

"Young kids are easily distracted from studies with innovative devices," said Gong Sidong, a mother of an eight-year-old girl.

"They may pay too much time surfing the Internet or playing the game, against the educator's original intent."

In response to parents' concerns, the commission said that the textbook reader is still being designed to make it more study-oriented and less strain on eyes.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend