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High School Ditches Textbooks for Sony eBooks

Sony Reader Touch Edition

Sony Reader Touch Edition

Have you try lifting your child’s school bag lately? It sometimes seems to weigh a ton! It hurts my back just to carry it to the car. A Canadian high school has decided to do something about it, replacing printed textbooks with digital textbooks. Way to go!

Canadian high school is first in the world to announce the supply of Sony Readers in place of printed textbooks

Blyth Academy, Sony Canada and Pearson Canada make digital textbooks a reality

TORONTO, Nov. 17 – Embracing the benefits of electronic reading, students at Blyth Academy are today beginning the transition from using traditional printed textbooks to digital textbooks read on the Sony(R) Reader Digital Book. Blyth Academy is the first high school in the world to announce that each student will be supplied with an e-Reader in place of printed textbooks.

From history class to political science, each student will have access to all of his or her course content using leading edge digital technology from Sony and publishers like Pearson Canada. The students will use Sony Readers that are pre-loaded with course textbooks, outlines, assignments, reference materials, background reading and personal timetables.

“My Sony Reader helps me get organized,” said Michael Tyrrell, student at Blyth Academy. “I have all my textbooks and class material on it – it’s really cool. I feel like somebody just personalised school to fit me.”

Blyth Academy selected the Sony Reader Touch(TM) Edition because it’s easy to use with intuitive touch screen navigation, and its open format provides students with access to content from numerous sources.

“We’re excited about how the Sony Reader can enhance a student’s learning experience,” says Tim Algate, Reader Product Manager with Sony Canada. “We’ll be listening to these students, using their feedback to evolve our Reader offering for education.”

The school has compiled a library of digital content from textbook publishers like Pearson and other class material and literature in digital format. Blyth will give students access to digital assets for university admission, offering everything they need to chose and apply to any university.

“The digital content we’ve acquired, coupled with the students’ Sony Readers, will dramatically improve student access to textbooks, collateral material, literature and reading in general,” said Sam Blyth, Chair, Blyth Academy. “Our student survey shows that they are twice as likely to read a book available in an e-book format as in hard copy form.”

Helping lead the way in delivering digital content for education are publishers like Pearson Canada.

“Pearson Canada is taking students beyond the four corners of the printed textbook,” said Anne-Marie Scullion, Vice President of Marketing Field Services, Pearson Canada. “Our focus is on developing flexible and adaptive content to engage students in a 21st century learning environment.”

Students will also have access to more than half a million free e-books from Google through the Sony eBook store at, as well as the e-books offered by the Toronto Public Library.

About Blyth Academy
Blyth Academy is one of Canada’s largest providers of private education. It owns and operates three high school campuses in the Toronto region and operates international accredited programs in 28 countries around the world. For more information, visit

About the Sony Reader
The Sony Touch Edition(TM) Reader is a portable electronic reading device that can store up to 350 eBooks, and allows access to multiple file formats. Its award-winning industrial design features an E Ink(R) Vizplex(TM) electronic paper display that mimics the look of ink on paper. The Reader features a six-inch touch screen panel that enables page turning, highlighting and note taking with the swipe of a finger or by using the included stylus pen. Readers can take handwritten notes with the stylus pen or type with the virtual keyboard. It includes an integrated English Dictionary that allows you to look up a word by simply tapping on it. It also offers five adjustable font sizes, as well as media expansion slots, making your portable library virtually limitless. Visit for more information.

About Pearson Canada School Division
Every day Pearson resources touch the lives of teachers and students in Canadian classrooms. Our research-based print and digital programs, assessment tools, and educational services are designed to help teachers make a lasting impact on learning for every student. Pearson is Canada’s leading educational publisher, developing resources for all core curriculum subjects K-12: Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and French as a Second Language. We see the diversity of Canada’s students as a strength and are committed to developing a full array of core curriculum, supplementary, assessment, professional, and early learning resources to help students of all ages learn at learn at their own pace, and in their own ways. Visit for more information.

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  • Apple is debuting their new iTablet this month which has the electronic reader as part of the machine. Price point is $1,000.00 for a laptop with electronic reader. Pricey, but makes more sense to have the opportunity to wordprocess, search the Internet, as well as availablilty of textbooks.

    Much to research and debate for the FUTURE!


  • Pat,

    The iTablet (or iSlate) is probably the hottest unannounced Apple item. If they can get this right (i.e. give us an “iPhone,” not a “Newton”), we may see a shift in school from books to tablets. Wouldn’t that be great? Imagine never having to carry back-breaking books anymore, never forget a texbook at home or at school, never forget to write what’s for homework in your agenda, etc. etc. The kids will love it! The parents will struggle as to how to control this beast!

  • This would be a really cool idea! Writing on this for a school paper, does anyone know who wrote the article?