Here we go, the time is right to begin a real digital transition of education, and the situation is quite clear. Apart from last-minute changes of mind, which would be welcomed of course, we have to presume that for the leading educational publishers the digital transition of education is a terrible monster to be driven away, and not an (inevitable) phenomenon to understand and manage. They got what they wanted, the postponement sine die of any and all requirements for the digitalization of school books (as if that were the problem), and now they’re happy. Well, good for them.
There’s also another category of experts that seem, for opposite reasons, resigned to non-change: the promoters of innovation by law (as if true innovations ever originated from a law). Disappointed by that postponement decree, and convinced as always that everything is riding on their ability to influence government regulations in order to get their hands on public money (as usual), they’re petrified and stunned.
But there are still many, many, MANY people up in arms, who really care about the issue itself and are anything but motionless and resigned. They might be a bit confused, but they’re still energetic. These are students and their families, as well as numerous teachers (MANY more than those we idly include under the statement “why on earth would teachers want to complicate their lives with digital technology, something they don’t even know anything about“: this is simply NOT the case). These are schools and entire classes, universities and their publishing facilities that just can’t keep going on paper and would soon be destined to perish. But these are also the distributors of paper school books, who see their business progressively dwindling, and are now refocusing on their most valuable and primary asset: the widespread ability to maintain a dynamic relationship with teachers.
So EbookCamp IV will be entirely dedicated to education, with a title that I wanted to be provocatively affirmative: Education IS GOING digital. Implying: whether you want it or not, whether you want to be part of the process or not, whether you like it or not. Education is going digital, and it’s a matter of understanding if and how to guide this process, how to be active players in this game and how to avoid having to take it lying down.
At this event, we of Simplicissimus Book Farm will propose our project, which we hope will allow us to effectively reach the first schools as early as the beginning of the next school year. But since every proper EbookCamp is a non-conference, where we’re really interested in listening rather than proposing, everyone is indiscriminately invited to speak, with just one requirement: you have to stay on topic. If you would like to participate, just register your speech as early as possible in the appropriate area of EbookCamp.it, and book your attendance via EventBrite.
When? Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March 2013.
Where? Cosenza. And don’t wrinkle your nose: that’s right, Cosenza. Why? Because it’s an Italian city just like any other. Because there are some people there who participated in EbookCamp 3 in Loreto and have dedicated themselves to organizing this event with us, finding the rooms and enthusiastic collaboration (not money, but real collaboration) from the city. Because if this country were a nation as it should be, in response to the question Why in Cosenza?, the correct answer should be (and is, for me): Why not?