WEEKEND PLUS: Free eBooks help schools in wake of state-slashed expenditure

Save EMA - London students protest against fee...

Free ebooks for students. Image: chrisjohnbeckett

Free eBooks for A Level studies welcomed by cash-strapped schools

By ECM Plus

ECM Plus +++ A new survey conducted by OCR has revealed that school teachers now facing tight budgets are welcoming the offer of free A Level eBooks from next September to help with their pupils’ school curricula.

Responses from over 1500 schools and colleges revealed that over 90% of teachers thought free resources for A Level students would help with their students’ studies while over 75 percent thought that the withdrawal of the EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) would affect students’ ability to buy textbooks.

Awarding body OCR has teamed up with Oxford University Press and Hodder Education to provide free e-versions of AS and A2 publications, starting from September 2011. The offer from OCR, a not for profit organisation, is available to all schools and colleges teaching A Levels and covers broad areas of the curriculum. It is the first time that free eBooks from major publishers have been made available via an awarding body.

Teachers have welcomed the money-saving move, as well as the benefits of new technology. “I think the scheme is great, it would save schools and learners a fortune.” Clive West, Head of Science at Hall Green School in Birmingham, England. “This sounds wonderful – a real gap in what we offer our students” added John Stokes, Head of Science at Gordano School in Bristol, England.

“This sounds great! It is something that I have considered and could make portability of equipment more efficient for some students. I look forward to my OCR eBook for History” commented Jon Kempton at Langley School in Norwich, England.

The free eBooks will be available in a wide range of subjects including Maths, English, Languages, History, RE, Physics, Law, PE, Business Studies, ICT, Psychology and many more. Mark Dawe, CEO at OCR commented: “This partnership between OCR, Hodder and OUP gives A Level teachers and their students access to free high-quality eBooks which can be used in the classroom or at home. These resources can be used flexibly to suit personal teaching and learning styles. After the September launch, we’ll be working closely with our partners, schools and colleges to see how we can expand and improve this offer in future years.“

Further details of the scheme and demos of the eBooks are available at www.ocr.org.uk/ebooks

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Filed under Document archiving & retrieval, e-Publishing, e-Reader, Electronic Document Management & Delivery, Industry News, Knowledge Management, OCR - Optical Character Recognition, Rights Management

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