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Virginia Publishes Digital Textbooks on iPad Platform

Together, the books contain 2,600 pages of digital content, including graphic-novel scenarios, interactive activities, graphing tools, embedded review questions, and self-grading quarterly and final assessments.
Together, the books contain 2,600 pages of digital content, including graphic-novel scenarios, interactive activities, graphing tools, embedded review questions, and self-grading quarterly and final assessments.

The state of Virginia has published the first of two textbooks developed on iBooks, Apple's iPad digital textbook platform. The subjects are economics and personal finance, and both volumes were developed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan, and the Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation. The books can be viewed with an iPad running iBooks 2 or a computer with iTunes.

The set aligns with the state's standards of learning for those subjects with material from a course delivered by Virtual Virginia, an online distance course program for middle and high school students. However, the Department of Education pointed out in a statement, "The digital texts may also be used as comprehensive textbooks for other economics and personal finance courses."

Together, the books contain 2,600 pages of digital content, including graphic-novel scenarios, interactive activities, graphing tools, embedded review questions, and self-grading quarterly and final assessments.

"These digital texts cover the required content in a manner that students will find compelling and relevant," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia Wright.

The iPad editions of the book are available for $14.99 each in the iTunes Store. However, Virginia students and schools can also receive free copies of a PDF edition of the textbooks for use in that format. A free sample of the first volume is available for download in the Apple store. Proceeds from the sale of the digital textbooks will help the Department of Education recoup development and production costs.

In addition to meeting Virginia content standards, the iBooks textbooks set is also aligned to standards that make up the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 Financial Literacy Framework, as well as the United States-based Council for Economic Education's Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics.

The state Board of Education voted in 2009 to require students to earn a credit in economics and personal finance to graduate. That became effective with students who entered the ninth grade during the 2011-2012 school year.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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