We don't get to write about Arnold Schwarzenegger very much, or ever in fact, so please indulge us while we get some puns out of our system and then we can move on.
In a bid to terminate his budget deficit, California governor Schwarzenegger is saying "hasta la vista, baby" to paper textbooks in its schools. Writing in the San Jose Mercury, he insists students are just as likely to achieve total recall of the facts from digital textbooks at a fraction of a cost to the state.
"It's nonsensical - and expensive - to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form," wrote Schwarzenegger. "By frequently updating texts as they are developed, rather than continuing to teach from outdated textbooks, we will better prepare our students."
Visiting BETT at the start of the year, it was clear how much momentum there is behind technology uptake in the classroom, but this move sets a new precedent with respect to public sector endorsement of such a shift.
A wholesale move to this kind of technology will not only provide a boost for the providers of the hardware needed, like e-readers such as the recently launched Kindle DX, but for all the services and content needed to keep texts regularly updated in an orderly fashion.
Arnie has just launched this digital textbooks initiative and hopes to publish an initial review by this autumn. The rest of the developed world will be watching this experiment, which could set a precedent that will shake up education procurement dramatically.