Russian Educational System Going Digital

First with the adoption of a specific model of the Ectaco Jetbook e-reader in the Ukraine and now with a massive investment in U.K.-based Plastic Logic, it appears that Russia and  some surrounding areas of Eastern Europe are poised to adopt digital textbooks in their lower-grade educational settings. The investment of nearly $150 million by Rusnano in Plastic Logic’s plastic technology e-reader has the country in line to adopt e-readers for its younger grade students while revitalizing a device that appeared all but scrapped in 2010.

The adoption of digital textbooks for younger elementary and middle-grade students has made quite a few headlines this year. India and South Korea, along with a few individual state governments in the U.S., are taking very serious steps in the direction of going entirely digital in all government-funded classrooms, relying instead on tablet PCs and e-readers for content.

Of all the areas that has profiled in recent months that are working on this e-reading adoption, Russia’s plan might make even more sense than most. Given the vast territory that print textbooks would have to travel due to the sheer size of the country, relying instead on digital downloads means not waiting for truckloads of student editions to arrive via delivery vehicle. This news is assuming that some of the more outlying areas have reliable internet access with the speeds necessary to download lengthy ebooks, a fact that some countries with more populated cities may take for granted when rationalizing the adoption of digital textbooks. Opposition to the “waste” of funds needed to deliver digital textbooks in India cited the lack of reliable broadband and high-speed internet, while those who felt that South Korea had not gone to tablet-textbooks soon enough cited the country’s top-spot as an internet provider as justification for shifting to digital ages ago.

However, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a strange word of praise for the Plastic Logic device that a Ministry of Education trial will place in over 1,000 classrooms: the lack of a glass screen will prevent students from being injured during school time brawls. While it isn’t clear what kinds of safety issues Putin is alluding to, at least he saw the progressive nature of the device and appears ready to implement state-of-the-art technology in Russian schools.

Mercy Pilkington (1982 Posts)

is a Senior Editor for Good e-Reader. She is also the CEO and founder of a hybrid publishing and consulting company.

  • Rost

    School oriented eBook readers is way to go. They will replace textbooks soon. I wonder, however, how they will display color content on a black and white screen

  • AlexM

    I found the information about jetBook Color on this website:
    It looks like Ectaco works with US schools and will bring this product to Russia and ukraine soon.

  • Andriy Husti

    I happen to have seen the jetbook color which is the newset ectaco project. It is a decent rival to plastic logic. Will be thrilled to see how they fight for te russian market. 

  • Andriy Husti

    I happen to have seen the jetbook color which is the newset ectaco project. It is a decent rival to plastic logic. Will be thrilled to see how they fight for te russian market. 

  • Erich Batunde

    Why don’t schools here adopt such open minded thinking?  It would be nice to see Ectaco do the same thing with schools around the country.  That shoudln’t be too hard, considering they are based in NYC.  Classrooms thousands of miles away can take advantage of the wonders of technology but American schools remain in the dark ages with access to the same things in their own backyards.

  • Kevin

    I know California is trying to mandate Electronic text books also within the next few years. I’m glad they are looking at the jetBook its one of the best around. My school purchased 30 of them in NY and our students love it.

  • Steven

    The Plastic Logic device is black and white, the jetBook Color is in fact using a color eink screen. Have you ever seen a textbook with only black and white pictures? Color needs to be there for distinction and im excited to see the jetBook Color in real life.

  • Олег Москвичёв
  • Олег Москвичёв
  • Timothy Spall

    ICELAND C9421

  • Timothy Spall


  • Theonefreeman

    Clearly, Putin is insane.

  • Schools in Hyderabad

    Schools should adopt the digitization and should give the students the independent thought to do some innovative experiments. Its a good sign that Russian education is going digital.

    Schools in Hyderabad

  • pahi smith

    It is necessary if you want to be updated. If you not make your education system modern than students never choose your schools.

  • Uba Babs

    I think this really very great indeed for the students,this digitization will enhance the student’s knowledge in schools,