Tuesday, May 18

Textbooks in e-format for online classes

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Publishers are providing digital versions and e-content of textbooks to schools to help with virtual classes.

The publishing houses are providing a few chapters instead of the entire book to make up for the absence of hard copies, while making sure that the entire content of the book is not available digitally.

Teachers and students had been finding it difficult without referring to any textbooks during online classes.

“We are conducting online classes and we understand the requirements of the parents. Children come from different backgrounds and they need books to refer to because not all of them are able to retain what is taught in class,” said Bratati Bhattacharyya, the secretary general of Shri Shikshayatan School.

The Heritage School, Indus Valley World School and Birla High School, Mukundapur, are some of the many schools who are using digital versions of the books. Delhi Public School New Town has also approached publishers for e-content.

“We have asked for e-files of the first few chapters so that we can share them with students. We had been receiving e-content the last few years and would upload it on our school server but this time we also need files that we can send to the parents,” said Amita Prasad, the director of Indus Valley World School.

The principal of Birla High School-Mukundapur, Minnie Sengupta, said students can refer to the e-content after the online class.

Some publishers who have responded to requests from schools are Oxford University Press, Scholastic and Ratna Sagar.

“We are not sending the entire book but content that will help teachers cope for a couple of months. If things deteriorate, we might have to send more content,” said Chitralekha Bhaskar, subject matter expert, Scholastic.

Some publishers are sharing PDF files, others are allowing schools password-protected access to e-content.

“We had received requests from across the country and some e-content was developed so that first few chapters could be sent to schools,” said Rakesh Paul, business development manager in Bengal, Ratna Sagar.

An official of Oxford University Press said schools have been requested to ensure the content is not misused.

Schools have asked parents not to copy or share the e-content with anyone because of copyright issues. “Please note it is our responsibility to ensure that this material is used only for the purpose of the students’ learning and not for any unauthorised or commercial purpose,” reads a note from Indus Valley World School to parents.

 

Source: The Telegraph

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