Twelve Characteristics Of A Top Performing Teacher

888748-anglican-church-grammar-school-headmaster-jonathan-hensmanWhat are the characteristics of a great teacher? This is a question that preoccupies those of us who aspire to be outstanding educators!

Jonathan Hensman, the Headmaster of Anglican Church Grammar School in Australia, offers his answer to this question in the May 2012 issue of Independence.

According to him, a top performing teacher:

  1. Adds value to the whole community of a school, and nurtures those around them;
  2. Gets involved in the wider life of a school, such as drama, music, sport, clubs, and weekend and holiday expeditions;
  3. Has a positive personality and gets on well with those around them;
  4. Has an extraordinary work ethic;
  5. Has personal convictions about the purpose of life and its values;
  6. Looks for opportunities to interact with students outside the classroom;
  7. Creates opportunities, seeking out the chance to contribute to school life, in the classroom and beyond;
  8. Possesses a heart and is generally refreshing company, willing to give time to students or parents;
  9. Feel priviliged to be a teacher, believing they have a special role to play in society;
  10. Is willing to speak out about controversial matters and are recognised as being credible because they understand the cultural context of the school;
  11. Has high expectations of themselves and their students and strives to get the best from their students by using their personality, work ethic and convictions rather than by coercion;
  12. Regards educating as more than a job, and for some, it may be a calling in a spiritual sense.

Hensman recognises the role the Head Teacher plays as “enabler” of top performing teachers, stating:

It is the responsibility of the Head to establish the culture of the school. A Head should be a role model, facilitator and encourager… Heads must create an environment for top performers to thrive, in order for them to continue to grow and develop.

What do you think are the characteristics of a top performing teacher? Do let me know in the comments below!

Source: Independence: The Journal of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia, Volume 37, Number 1, May 2012.

Time to Rethink Learning?

bw_teacher_pupil_blackboardIt is often said that we live in a time of great change. It seems that pretty much every week a new technological innovation is launched that we are promised will transform our lives. It is true that many of these new developments do indeed have a profound impact on our lives.

Back in 1997, when I was sitting my A’ Levels, the world wide web, at least in the understanding of the general public, was very much in its infancy. Some organisations, including the BBC, were promoting their new web sites to those who were lucky enough to have an internet-enabled PC. Generally such a computer would be equipped with a 56K modem that emitted strange noises whilst dialing, took several minutes to load a simple website, and prevented anyone else from using the phone.

During my time in the Sixth Form I was given my first email address ( – but knew of no-one else whom I could contact.

Also whilst in the Sixth Form, I was given permission to use my father’s mobile phone whilst undertaking my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme hikes. This massive, brick shaped piece of technology, complete with pull-out aerial, was frequently commented on, since mobile phones were still something of a rarity. Signal was generally poor, and out in the Surrey countryside, it proved very difficult to make calls.

Technology has progressed rapidly

Since those days, technology has progressed rapidly. Websites have become extraordinarily common place, with around 644 million online in March 2012. It’s not just the number of sites that has seen a dramatic increase, however. Usability has also seen a marked improvement. Back in 1997, the BBC website was next to useless. Now, in 2012, on the same website, we can catch up with our favourite television shows, watch what is currently being broadcast live, and much more. We can also use the internet to watch films, buy books, do our grocery shopping, play games, manage our finances, find our next home, check out holiday destinations, and more. This is largely a consequence of the huge improvement in the speed – and quality – of the internet connections to our homes. Gone (thank goodness) are the slow, dial up modems of old, replaced by high speed connections of up to 40 Mbs, an astonishing 700+ times faster than the speeds we were getting in the late 1990s.

Mobile phone technology has also undergone a series of rapid transformations since 1997, beginning with the adoption of digital technology, then 2G phones, followed shortly by 3G fully internet enabled phones, and now the current adoption of 4G ultra fast internet phones. The mobile phones of today have little in common with the phones of 1997, however; the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android have turned simple call-and-text devices into fully fledged computers. The phones we carry with us today enable us to check our email, surf the net, take photographs, record video, listen to music, track our exercise, get directions when driving, read books. The list is almost endless.

Email has also seen significant improvement, with the likes of GMail, Hotmail, and more recently offering pretty much unlimited storage and all kinds of useful tools to help us cope with the deluge of email we all seem to be subject to these days. Email is now the tip of the social iceberg, however. What no one could have foreseen in 1997 was the development of social networks, most noticeably Facebook and Twitter. Facebook enables us to communicate with friends in a way that has revolutionised how humans interact. As of October 2012, this giant behemoth of the internet reached over 1 billion monthly active users. Twitter, the social network that is frequently derided as the pointless realm of narcissists, had also managed to clock up 500 million users by February 2012 (media

The impact of these developments on our lives has been profound. In the fifteen years since I left school in 1997 the world has changed, if not beyond all recognition, in significant ways that have impacted on the lives of us all. The way we work has been transformed. The way we spend our free time has changed hugely. The way we interact has been totally revolutionised. Even if you’re one of the increasingly rare people who does not have an internet connection, is not a Facebook user, and has no interest in acquiring a mobile phone, the changes that have been ushered in during the course of the last decade and a half will have impacted on your life. Election campaigns have been helped – or hindered – by social networking. Government policies have been amended as a consequence of online petitions. Revolutions and riots have been organised through Twitter. Our world, our society, our species, our personal identity is changing, for better or for worse, as a direct result of these changes.

Those of us who work in education have seen profound changes in the lives of those whom we teach. Many of our pupils own mobile phones. Significant numbers have their own Facebook or Twitter accounts (despite Facebook’s policy of limiting account registration to those over 13, many younger children are registered on the site). One of the most common evening activities, amongst those I teach at least, is to talk over Skype. Some teachers will hear our pupils bandying around names and phrases that we are simply not familiar with, names like Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and others which I can’t remember because they just don’t mean anything to me at all.

These are children for whom life is very, very different to those of us who were in their place a decade or two ago. These are also children who will go on to live in a world that we cannot even begin to imagine.

We need to see major change in the world of education

Our schools have tried to tackle these changes in different ways. Devices that are seen as a potential distraction to learning, such as mobile phones, are frequently banned in schools, as are handheld gaming devices, and frequently e-readers like Kindles. Websites like Facebook are usually blocked by our schools’ internet filters.

Schools have tried to keep trace of the huge technological changes by increasing the number of computers available in labs, and sometimes by introducing class sets of laptops or tablets. Classrooms are being fitted out with expensive interactive whiteboards and digital projectors.

It is my experience, however, as a teacher of eight years, that schools are simply not changing fast enough. One of the most significant reasons for this is that we simply have not stopped to rethink just what the role and function of our schools should be in this new, rapidly developing age. I’m certainly not one of those people who will accuse our schools of being stuck in a nineteenth-century Dickensian model, but it is still frequently the case that education is about sticking an adult in front of a group of children and telling them lots of “stuff” that they need to know in order to pass exams, which are supposed to show future employers how clever and capable they are. The means of conveying this “stuff” may have got flashier and more glitzy, but teachers are still expected to communicate a body of knowledge to our charges.

It is my belief that this has to change. We need to see major transformations occurring in the world of education, in the same way that every other aspect of our society has been transformed. What is needed, though, is not just the adoption of more technology, but a comprehensive review of what it means to educate and be educated. We need to look beyond just our schools and look at what underpins our entire education system. What is required is a major rethink of learning itself. What is learning? What does it mean to learn? What do we need to learn? How do we learn? What is the impact of our changing world on what and how we learn?

I don’t claim to have any of the answers to these questions, but I hope through this project to attempt to rethink learning.

Richard Dawkins: I would be in favour of infanticide

The Guardian Hay Festival 2007Following on from last night’s blog post “academics propose killing babies,” I have just watched a YouTube video in which eminent evolutionary biologist and prominent atheist states that “morally I have no objection at all” to infanticide.

In fact, he continues to state, “I would be in favour of infanticide.”

Dawkins says that he would be happy for an “abortion” of a baby up to a year old if it “turned out to have some horrible incurable disease that meant it was going to die in agony in later life.”

I am utterly horrified by the cool and measured approach in which Dawkins suggests that it is perfectly acceptable to murder babies. Whether you have a religious belief or not, to deny the dignity of human life in this way is callous and, dare I say it, evil.

I really do worry about the direction our supposedly “civilised” nation is taking when admired, respected (by some) and highly educated people can propose such horrific treatment of a baby, a person, a human being.

The clip, which I am sure you will want to see, is here:

(Thanks to @thechurchmouse for highlighting this video on Twitter).

Academics propose killing babies

image001I have today read an academic paper which has left me deeply disturbed.

In a paper entitled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?”, two academics openly propose murdering newborn babies, since they are not “actual persons,” only “potential persons.”

Drs Alberto Giublini and Francesca Minerva, writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, suggest that killing a newborn baby should be permissible in all the cases in which abortion is, including cases where the child is not disabled.

The academics, who specialise in philosophy and ethics, put forward the view that neither foetuses nor newborn babies have a moral right to life; this is something reserved for “actual persons.” They decline to comment on when a “potential person” becomes an “actual person,” but say that babies do not qualify since they are not able to “make aims and appreciate their own lives.” Babies can, therefore, justifiably be killed. The fact that babies have the potential “to be persons” is, they believe morally irrelevant.

The authors suggest that the since the argument that a person with a condition such as Down’s syndrome could have an acceptable life is no reason to prohibit abortion, neither should it be a reason not to kill them on birth.

The authors don’t stop there, however, but continue by suggesting that it should also be perfectly permissible to murder a healthy newborn baby. Since a baby has not made any future plans, they see no reason why it cannot be killed. The document states that “the death of a newborn is not wrongful to her on the grounds that she cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing.” The authors believe that “the future we imagine for [the newborn child] is merely a projection of our minds on its potential lives.”

The authors have coined the term after-birth abortion which they favour over ‘infanticide’ “to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a foetus … rather than to that of a child.” They also rule out the term ‘euthanasia’ because “the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice.”

In a particularly shocking statement, the authors suggest that “merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.” 

Clearly this paper is, at this stage, merely floating ideas, but I must say that I find it abhorrent and deeply disturbing that two educated people with a background in ethics can, in all seriousness, suggest murdering babies.

That this paper can be given credibility by virtue of publication in the Journal of Medical Ethics is worrying indeed.

This seems to be to be the very worst kind of philosophising – the kind that has been favoured in brutal regimes such as Nazi Germany. I really hope that there is sufficient disgust at this paper for such suggestions to never see the light of day again.

The full paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics can be read here.

UPDATE: I have just blogged about a video in which eminent scientist and renowned atheist states, “I would be in favour of infanticide.”

Is my Twitter username mine forever?

imageI’ve just been reading about the fate of Tom Armitage’s @towerbridge Twitter account.

Back in February 2008, Tom registered the @towerbridge username on Twitter and built an automated bot that tweeted details about London’s famous bridge. The account detailed when the bridge opened and closed, which vessel was passing through, and in which direction the vessel was headed. The Twitter account quickly became popular, and in due course nearly 4000 interested people were “following” the account, watching every move of this iconic London landmark.

Earlier today, however, Tom got an email saying that his bot had disappeared; without warning, his @towerbridge account had been taken away and reallocated to the operators of the Tower Bridge tourist attraction. Tom had not been informed in advance that this was going to happen, and in the process of transferring the username, all the historical data that the account had accrued also disappeared.

Now, clearly some will say that Tom had no right to own the @towerbridge account; after all, he has no official connection with the Bridge, and merely happened to register the account first. It does pose a question, however, about the extent to which our Twitter handles are our own.

I’ve been the proud owner of the @simonlucas handle since May 29th 2007. If, however, a more famous Simon Lucas should come along, perhaps a big Hollywood actor, is my username safe? Or is there a risk that ownership could be transferred to him, simply because he is better known and has more clout? Could he or his agents suggest that me tweeting from @simonlucas could cause confusion?

I hope that this is not the case.

This incident is nevertheless a useful reminder that we do not own our usernames; they are held by a private company and could be taken away from us at any time. Perhaps we should make sure we don’t get too attached to our online identities!

Debunking the myths of the Twitterverse

image-1-2I’m amazed by the consensus that has formed around some rather bizarre ideas on Twitter and Facebook recently. Fed by the traditional British tendency to knock success, heightened by television programmes such as “10 O’ Clock Live” and “Mock The Week” that foment negativity, and repeatedly conveyed through Twitter, Facebook and blogs, many have found themselves embracing ideas that normally would be considered preposterous.

Let’s try and debunk some of those negative myths that abound at the moment:

There’s (probably) no global conspiracy (and if there is, there’s nothing you can do about it);

We all have rights, but we also have responsibilities. Our responsibilities are just as important as our rights, if not more so;

Your rights do not take precedence over other people’s. We are a society, not a collection of individuals;

The government don’t want to take all your freedoms away. They are trying to balance protecting the citizens of the country against threats from within and outside the country;

Politicians are for the most part honest, hardworking people who want to serve their country. For every one who makes the news for behaving inappropriately, thousands of others across the UK are working hard to serve their constituents;

The police are not a bunch of law-breaking fascists. For every officer who makes the news for behaving inappropriately, there are thousands quietly doing a very difficult job;

The ultimate aim of a business is to make money for their shareholders, not to provide you with a service. The loyalty of any business lies with their shareholders. Any service that they provide to you, the consumer, they provide in order to make money;

You might not like the way a company conducts its business. Provided they are adhering to the law of the land, however, they are free to conduct their business how they wish. If you don’t like how they operate, shop elsewhere. Don’t be so childish as to try to prevent others from carrying out their legitimate and lawful business;

In the realm of ideas, there is a multitude of different possibilities. Whether it’s the best way to run the NHS, the fairest way to elect our politicians, or the right way to tax our citizens, there are no “right” or “wrong” ways. Which is “better” is a personal opinion;

The joy of living in a democracy is that we are free to express our opinions. We also have to respect the rights of others to have their say, even if we disagree with them;

You think you’re right. But guess what, I think I’m right too.

“I Can’t Be Arsed”

image-2-2I recently spent a day teaching Maths at a school in Sussex. I’m not quite sure why; I am a History teacher, and Maths has never been a great strength. It turned out, though, that teaching Maths to bottom set GCSE students is not particularly difficult. Even with my limited mental arithmetic skills, I was still streets ahead of the fifteen and sixteen year olds that I was teaching. The reason? Whilst I recognise that Maths is not something that I enjoy or am good at, when I’m asked a question I know that with a little effort on my part, I can normally come up with an answer. The kids I saw in Sussex lacked any willingness at all to even attempt an answer. The response that I heard time and time again during that day was, “I can’t be arsed.”

There was one particular student sixteen year old student who was struggling to calculate what 3 x is, when x = 3. I explained that to get the answer all that was required was to multiply three by three. When that simple equation left him baffled, I suggest that we looked at it another way, 3 + 3 + 3. I asked him what 3 + 3 is, to which he responded that he didn’t know. I advised him to think about it rather than simply saying “I don’t know,” because with a little bit of thought, he might come up with the right answer. His response was, “I can’t be arsed.”

I’d love to say that this attitude is very rare, but as a teacher I have seen it far too often. During that single day in Sussex, I must have heard it a dozen times. Whilst working at a “difficult” school in south Essex, I heard it a similar number of times every day for six months. Even teaching at a “posh” exclusive boarding school in Sussex, I often heard it. Rather than stopping, engaging their brains, reflecting on what the answer could be, students simply come out with “I can’t be arsed” in the hope that the problem will go away, or that someone else will simply tell them the answer.

Even when teaching intelligent, hardworking students, the perception often seems to be that my role, as teacher, is simply to provide my pupils with knowledge, to tell them the answers to the questions that will confront them in a future examination, to minimise the amount of effort that they have to invest in discovering knowledge, reflecting on what that knowledge means, and critically analysing the data they have before them.

I find this situation very worrying indeed. Whether it’s as a consequence of poor parenting, inadequate teaching, or the tendency to spend leisure hours engaged in mind-rotting activities such as playing computer games or watching trash on television, the number of people who have no commitment to basic thought seems to be rapidly increasing, particularly amongst our young people. Schools, private and state, “good” and “bad” seem to be failing in their responsibility to help future generations to think.

Perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps in a service society such as the one we have in the UK today, it is best to prepare our young people for the mundanity of a life stacking shelves in Tesco according to a plan devised by someone sitting in an office somewhere in Hertfordshire. Perhaps there is no need for someone who works in a call centre to have the ability to think for themselves when their job simply involves following a script that appears on a screen in front of them. Perhaps by encouraging thinking we’re actually harming our young people, since when they encounter the realities of life they’ll find it much easier if they don’t think.

Perhaps drumming free thinking out of people in these circumstances is a good idea. But if we want to drag our economy out of recession by promoting entrepreneurship, if we want to encourage scientific research, if we want to encourage a new generation of film makers, writers, and artists, if we want to ensure that our society does not simply stagnate and die under an enormous cloud of apathy, drumming free thinking out of people is the worst possible thing that we could do.

It’s not free thinking but this “I can’t be arsed” attitude that must be drummed out of our children, and the sooner the better. We must not drip feed them answers. We must not do everything for them. We need to make life more difficult, not easier. When they can’t answer a question, we must press them to think about it and come up with a response, to take a risk that whilst it might not be correct, it might be. We must raise our expectations of what all of our children are capable of, and continually press them to do better. Teachers – poor quality work should never be acceptable; students should be made to do it again, to invest more time and effort in producing their homework to come up with something that they can be proud of.

We must encourage our young people to take up pursuits that encourage rather than hinder thought. Throw away the Playstations, switch off the television sets, and start encouraging a love of literature, (perhaps if we could encourage people to read, the libraries would not now be under threat), of art, of music, of theatre. Yes, Shakespeare or Mozart might be difficult to understand, they might require some thought, but does that mean we shouldn’t bother with them? Let’s get our children involved in Scouts, or Guides. Let’s invest the money we would have spent on computer games in piano lessons, or ballet classes. Let’s encourage our children to join the orchestra at school, or the debating society, or the French cultural society.

Above all, let’s challenge our children. Let’s encourage them to think, to take an interest in life and the world around them. Let’s show them that thinking is not difficult, and is never too difficult. And let’s drum this “can’t be arsed” attitude of them right now, for the good of our society.

Why I’m writing for the Kindle

People test a Kindle 2 after a press conEarlier this year, I moved house. That involved packing my books into eight large boxes. I lugged those boxes out of my house, into the back of a van, and then into my new flat. It was crippling work, and I decided there and then that there had to be a better way of owning books. Whilst I have always been a huge fan of physical books, they just take up so much space. Whether it’s moving house, or going on holiday, it is clear that even paperbacks are heavy and take up a lot of space.

This summer, I visited the USA. Whilst in a Target store, I saw, and fell in love with, the Kindle. I bought two straight away, and when I got back to my hotel room, opened one. What immediately struck me was the quality of the screen. I thought that a printed sticker had been placed on the screen, because the text looked just like print. I was shocked – yes, shocked – when I realised that what I was seeing was not print at all – but the actual display of the Kindle. The text was so sharp, crystal clear, and, well, black!

The next task was to begin buying books. It was just so easy. I turned the Kindle on, clicked through to the store on the device itself and began selecting books. When I found a selection I wanted to buy, I clicked once, and within seconds, the books were on my device.

And it was so compact! By the end of my three weeks in the States, I had purchased about twenty books. Ordinarily, I would have needed a suitcase just to get my books back to the UK, and it would have cost me a fortune in excess baggage. Not with the Kindle, though. I had my light, slimline device, which I just dropped into my carry on bag. I was then able to sit on the plane reading to my heart’s content. The battery life is just so good that a long haul flight is no trouble for it at all.

By the time I returned home, I was convinced that I had seen the future of reading, and became positively evangelical about the Kindle to the extent that my friends began asking if I was on commission! (I was not, and am not!)

Then I began thinking of the implications of the Kindle for me as I writer. I had just finished writing a book, and had begun the arduous process of trying to secure an agent. My heart dropped, as I had been through this exact process with my first novel, Beyond the Door. I had tried for months and months to find an agent, had sent off a huge number of letters and opening chapters, and met with no success at all. Having not managed to find an agent, I tried to find a publisher. This time I sent out literally hundreds of letters, all of which came back with a negative response. I had just about given up hope when I finally secured a publisher.

I was lucky, and Beyond the Door was moderately successful. It certainly did not make me enough money to live off, but I made a few pounds. The problem is that once a book is published, there is no guarantee that it will ever reach a bookshop. There is to all intents and purposes only one ‘proper’ book retailer in the UK now, and that is Waterstones. If an author is extremely lucky, Waterstones might buy a book in bulk and place it at the front of the store as part of a three for two offer. More likely, though, it they even decide to buy it, is that it will sit in the “A to Z by Author” section at the back of the store for a few weeks, until the manager decides it won’t sell and it gets sent off for pulping.

Even if a book makes it into print, there is no guarantee whatsoever that it will sell. Even if it does, there’s not a lot of money to me made. I made £1 a copy on Beyond the Door. At that rate, an author has to sell an awful lot of books in order to make anything approaching a living.

Writing a book can take years of hard slog. (It took me four years to write Beyond the Door). Trying to get a book published can take years. Getting the book onto the shelves of a retailer can take years. Once there, it might sell a few copies and earn the author a few pounds before it disappears to make room for a newer book.

With the Kindle, though, or more particularly the Kindle store, I see a revolution in the process of buying books. Amazon enable anyone to submit a book to the Kindle store. At a stroke, the publisher disappears from the process. An author can write a book, stick it on the Kindle store, and within days of completing the book, it is available for sale and potentially making money for the writer. What’s more, with no costs to produce a physical book and no publisher to take a substantial cut, an author can potentially make more money per copy through the Kindle store than through a traditional retailer. An author therefore needs to sell fewer copies to make more money. What a fantastic situation to be in!

Of course, there is still the problem of promotion. A good publisher, who recognises the talent of an author, will help to promote a book, providing publicity and opportunities for the author to meet the general public. With the Kindle store, it is very much down to the author to promote their own book. And promotion is of vital importance. By making it so easy for anyone to sell a book, Amazon have ensured that hundreds of new books are hitting their metaphorical shelves every day. That means that if you and I submit a book, we find ourselves jostling for sales amongst many other authors, some of whom will be better than us, many of whom will no doubt be considerably worse writers than us. I firmly believe, though, that as with anything, the cream will rise to the surface, and, if our books are any good, they will sell.

As an experiment, I uploaded the text of Beyond the Door to the Kindle store. It had been out of print for several years, so I had nothing to lose. I’m not arrogant enough to claim that Beyond the Door is the greatest work of children’s fiction, but it did do moderately well in print form. Would it sell in the Kindle store? Well, with practically no promotion whatsoever, it is indeed selling. Not in huge volumes at the moment, and not enough for me to make a huge amount of money, but it is selling nevertheless, and I am earning money as a result.

If that’s possible with an old children’s book (I wonder how many children even own Kindles? I suspect not many), then I wonder what the potential is for selling fiction for a more adult market.

This month, therefore, I have decided to put to one side my literary masterpiece. If I am going to be successful as a writer, I need to earn money to pay the bills. (I can’t live off my wife’s earnings forever, after all!) Writing a masterpiece, finding an agent, securing a publishing deal, getting a book into print and into bookshops could take years – during which I will not be earning money. I decided that there must be a better way. I have therefore begun writing a novel specifically for the Kindle (and other eReaders). I’m going to write it as quickly as I possibly can and, as a consequence, try to make it topical. As soon as I have completed it, I will get it proofread, tweak anything that needs tweaking, correct anything that needs correcting, and get it out there for sale as an eBook as quickly as I possibly can. Then I’ll begin the process again, and get another eBook written and onto the store, and then another, and another, and another, the theory being that the more books I have available, the better. If I have one book in the Kindle store, people might buy it and like it. If I have five, or ten, or twenty, hopefully anyone who buys a book I’ve written and enjoyed it will buy another. Hopefully they’ll also tell their friends. The hypothesis, then, is quite simple. The more books I write, the more I sell, and the more money I make. I don’t expect to be a millionaire anytime soon, but it would be nice to make enough money to pay the bills.

That all depends, of course, on my books being any good, and people actually enjoying them. I’m currently thirty per cent of the way through my first new novel, however, and I am absolutely thrilled with how it’s going. But more on that in a future post.

I really do believe that I have seen the future of publishing, and it is the eBook. Why bother with a traditional publisher when it is possible to publish books quicker and easier without them, whilst also making more money? It looks to me like it’s going to be eBooks all the way from here on in.