H.C.R. NO.














requesting the Department of Education to conduct a feasibility study on converting hard cover text books to e-books for use in public schools.



     WHEREAS, textbook shortages continue to be an issue for many Hawaii schools; and


     WHEREAS, the average weight of a backpack in middle school can be as much as twenty pounds, and some doctors recommend that individuals never carry more than ten per cent of their body weight to avoid injury; and


     WHEREAS, some schools do not have enough textbooks to allow students to bring them home to study; and


     WHEREAS, textbooks typically cost between $60 and $90 each, and even when there are enough books for each student in a class, they can sometimes be too valuable to be allowed to leave the classroom; and


     WHEREAS, an insufficient number of textbooks in a classroom can cripple the teacher's ability to teach and the student's ability to learn; and


     WHEREAS, maintaining updated textbooks for every public school student in the State would cost tens of millions of dollars; and


     WHEREAS, even when textbooks are relatively current, they cannot provide a complete curriculum, and teachers must supplement their lesson plans with handouts on the latest research; and


     WHEREAS, the academic landscape has expanded to include a range of resources that were technologically impossible a few years ago, and the traditional textbook may no longer be considered as central to a curriculum as it once was; and


     WHEREAS, e-books are text documents that have been converted and "published" in a digital format that display on specialized reading devices or computers; and


     WHEREAS, e-books can be stored and read on laptops, pocket computers, and e-book reading devices for access at any time, and a gigabyte of computer chip storage space can contain two hundred illustrated reference books, three hundred fifty legal volumes, or about two thousand five hundred six hundred-page novels; and


     WHEREAS, e-books can present text in a more user-friendly style than traditional books, be electronically read aloud, and can allow users to adjust text size, bookmark a page, take notes within a book, highlight portions of the text, add drawings, look up definitions, search within the text, and copy and paste selected text to other programs; and


     WHEREAS, e-book software could be updated more often and at lower costs to schools over time; and


     WHEREAS, e-books can be considered stronger, dynamic, interactive versions of traditional textbooks that use computer programs that can respond in real time to a student's work with personalized feedback, thereby tailoring and improving the learning experience to meet the individual needs of the student; and


     WHEREAS, these online textbooks can provide on-demand suggestions, guided solutions, quizzes, and multiple problem examples and explanations; and


     WHEREAS, e-books allow students to learn at their own pace, without the time pressure or fear of answering incorrectly in front of their peers, which can be present in a group learning situation; and


     WHEREAS, there are many online libraries and organizations that make available a large number of e-books for little or no cost; and


     WHEREAS, e-books permit teachers to work more effectively with a range of students, allowing faster learners to forge ahead while giving other students more time to grasp certain concepts; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fifth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2009, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Education is requested to conduct a feasibility study on converting hard cover text books to e-books for use in public schools; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the study shall include, but not be limited to, considerations of cost and computer accessibility; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education shall report its findings and recommendations, including cost estimates, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2010; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Superintendent of Education.









Report Title: 

DOE; E-books; Feasibility Study