Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pearson goes online for schools

29.10.10 - Caroline Horn - The Bookseller

Educational publisher Pearson has launched a reading programme for schools, Bug Club, available entirely as electronic resources and e-books. Bug Club is also available in physical book form as trials have shown that schools still prefer physical books to the cheaper online alternative.

Lindsay Nadin, acting head of publishing for primary literacy and languages at Pearson, said schools using the reading scheme, which launched in September, were buying the books and using the e-books as an additional resource.
She said: "That may change in a few years but for now we have found that teachers and parents still value books and want to have the book to share with children."

Bug Club is a phonics-based reading scheme for children aged four–11, which includes 145 e-books, teachers' notes and assessment tools. The stories include licensed characters such as Ben 10 and Shaun the Sheep. The cost of the electronic resources and relevant e-books is less than £5 per child for the year.

Up to 40% of schools buying the books have gone on to buy the electronic scheme. Nadin said: "Schools don't need to buy the printed books if they don't wish to; it's the first online reading scheme that is completely available online. But that's not what is happening. We are not saying it's the end of the printed book."

Pearson may also launch book packs for families to support their child's learning. Nadin added: "Many schools are reluctant to let books go home in case they get misplaced or damaged, but with this scheme schools can make the e-books available to parents for home use."

Another 44 books at KS2 level will be published in the spring, and a separate phonics learning scheme, Phonics Bug, is available.

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