Textbooks out, tablets in

Apple started an innovative program called One to One ten years ago, which consists of using the original iBook laptops in schools. Countless schools around the country have been using laptops since to supplement normal classroom materials.

Now, the next technology step for Henrico County Public Schools is implementing electronic textbooks, and use of tablets like the iPad to replace traditional printed textbooks. Currently, the county already uses around 26,000 laptops for middle and high school students (and their teachers).

This program means that the district will be phasing out buying any more textbooks, buying them digitally instead. The programme costs around $8 million a year. The district commented that they are also using technologies such as the Kindle and iPods. Patrick Russo, the new superintendent said that they will start the shift with next year’s science classes.

Some of the reasons Russo gave for making the move were things like the portability of tablets compared with the weight of laptops, and also that he hopes it will encourage classroom engagement with the use of learner-response software.

Russo argues, “…providing technology to all students (regardless of income level or background) has proven to be beneficial for preparing them for real-world situations such as gainful employment and interacting with the high level of technology found in everyday activities.”

“Henrico County led the digital innovations in high school technology by adopting and supporting for 10 years now a laptop initiative, and we want to be on that cusp again,” Russo said. “One of my frustrations is not being further along, especially 10 years into the laptop initiative.”

I think this is a really interesting move and I can see the benefit of being able to download up-to-date information in text books.

I wonder if Angry Birds will find their way next to these science textbooks.

Article Via Electronista

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Chatty Canadian in the UK. Dancing queen in my head. Digital Communications Lecturer. Mac computer fan. Mac makeup fan. iOS developer. Popcorn eater. Was producer & host of quirky app review show Apps & Hats.