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Daily Talker: Digital Textbooks

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An all-boys Catholic high school in New York state has gone digital.

Archbishop Stepinac High School got rid of nearly all its printed textbooks and is having students use tablets and laptops instead. Textbooks are stored online, allowing all students access to all books, no matter what grade they are in.

That means much lighter backpacks for students and a textbook bill for parents that dropped from $600 to $150. But the school says those weren’t the main reasons for the switch.

“This is the way kids learn today. And the online content is a lot richer. You’ve got assessments, you’ve got virtual labs, you’ve got blogging,” said vice principal Frank Portanova.

The switch wasn’t cheap. The school had to invest $1 million in infrastructure and increased bandwidth. That expense has been a barrier for many schools considering digital textbooks.

What do you think? Are digital textbooks worth the extra upfront expense? Or would education money be better spent in other areas? Share your comments below.

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