Hear that distant rumbling sound? That’s the sound of every ELT publisher rushing to create ebook versions of their coursebooks because we’re moving into the age of the paperless classroom. As one of my American colleagues so wonderfully puts it, “The toothpaste is out of the tube” – there’s no going back now. But most e-textbooks are too print-faithful to be really useful. We need to take things further, and this post ends with some of the key questions that we need to look at if we’re going to use the paperless classroom as an opportunity to improve what a coursebook is, rather than just re-create what we’ve already had for 30 years.
What will it mean when every English learner has a touchscreen internet-connected computer with them at all times? Previously, we looked at online learning and alternative credentialing platforms – now let’s look at what a mobile world and the paperless classroom might mean for ELT.