"Every year italian families must spend hundreds of
Euros in textbooks for every child, while the cost limits set by
the government are regularly violated in spite of denounces and
warnings from consumer associations. In order to solve this
problem, Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini proposed to deduce
cost (and weight!) of textbooks by encouraging schools to adopt
digital textbooks starting from 2011.
"This change, when it will actually happen, will surely lighten
the load on the children backs, but not necessarily the one on
their parents' wallets (Adiconsum, a consumer association, said
that the savings could be as low as 10%). The reason is that those
digital textbooks would still be protected by full copyright,
therefore traditional editors may continue to ask whatever price
they want for them.
"While Italy is merrily waiting the arrival of the "official",
State-approved digital books, the Technical Institute and
Scientific Lyceum "Enrico Fermi, a high school in Mantova, Northern
Italy, is trying another approach that could be even more
effective, explained by Principal Cristina Bonaglia and Professor
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