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State unveils economics and personal finance iBooks textbooks

Gov. Bob McDonnell today announced the development and availability of two interactive digital textbooks to help high school students earn a now-required diploma credit in economics and personal finance.

The iBooks textbooks, “Economics” and “Personal Finance,” were developed by the Virginia Department of Education.

The set is fully aligned with the Virginia Economics and Personal Finance Standards of Learning and is based on the content of VDOE’s Virtual Virginia online Economics and Personal Finance course, which was developed with support from the Virginia 529 College Savings Plan and the Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation. The digital texts may also be used as comprehensive textbooks for other economics and personal finance courses.

“Now more than ever, young Virginians need to know how to manage their personal finances wisely and understand the complexities, risks and opportunities of the global economy,” McDonnell said. “I congratulate VDOE, Virginia 529 and the Virginia Bankers Association on their forward-thinking partnership and for producing a resource that won’t add to weight of already heavy backpacks.”

Together, the books contain 2,600 pages of digital content, including graphic-novel scenarios, interactive activities, graphing tools, embedded review questions, and self-grading quarterly and final assessments. An iPad with iBooks 2 is required for use.

“The availability of these iBooks textbooks comes as school divisions are stepping up efforts to identify affordable resources and materials aligned with the Economics and Personal Finance SOL,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. “These digital texts cover the required content in a manner that students will find compelling and relevant.”

Economics is available from Apple’s iBookstore for $14.99.  Personal Finance is currently available as a pre-order at the same price and will be in stock later this month. Proceeds from the sale of the digital textbooks will help VDOE recoup development and production costs.

In addition to meeting Virginia content standards, the iBooks textbooks set is aligned to the PISA 2012 Financial Literacy Framework and the Council for Economic Education’s Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics.

The content of both digital textbooks is available through Virtual Virginia free of charge in PDF format to Virginia students and schools not using iPads.

The Board of Education voted in 2009 to require students to earn a credit in economics and personal finance to graduate with either a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. Content standards were then developed and the requirement became effective with students who entered the ninth grade during the 2011-2012 school year.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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