Tuesday at the Seville Book Fair, leading Spanish educational publisher Santillana announced the launch of a new “web-book” model of textbooks. The online textbooks are enhanced with images and links and interactive features, and are designed to display on electronic blackboards and laptops in the classroom. Students will be able to access the web-books online from home for homework assignments. For teachers some limited customization is possible if they choose to upload images specific to their classes. Santillana estimates that the electronic format will allow them to sell students access to the web-books for less than half the price they would pay for the equivalent print book.
As reported in El País, the project is still in experimental stages and is limited to Catalonia, where high school students will be the first to put the web-book platform to the test come September. The government of Catalonia is working on an initiative to provide laptops to high school students in the province, and more than 60,000 students are expected to start the school year in classrooms fully equipped with electronic blackboards, laptops and etextbooks.