Moving America Forward

This School Cut Textbook Costs from $600 to $150 With One Innovation

December 25, 2013
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This School Cut Textbook Costs from $600 to $150 With One Innovation
Flickr, Lexie Flickinger/flickingerbrad
Going digital saved students money and helped them learn.

At Archbishop Stepinac High School in upstate New York, almost every textbook is now digital and accessible from students’ laptops and tablets. The cost of books has dropped from $600 to $150, and all of the digital textbooks are kept in cloud storage. And more than just migrating traditional content onto a screen, the digital textbooks offer a much richer learning experience. The material is supplemented with videos, assessments, virtual labs and blogging capability. Students can also highlight passages or write notes in the margins without damaging a book for other students. Teachers say that student learning has improved, and homework with the digital texts is more productive, so they can engage students in more discussion and analysis in class. As tablets and computers become less expensive and more online lessons and books become available, either through publishers or through platforms that teachers find or create themselves, more students will benefit from digital textbooks and materials. “It’s all great,” said one Stepinac junior. “As long as the Wi-Fi doesn’t go down.”

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