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These Middle School Students Are Losing All Their Textbooks. Here’s Why That’s a Good Thing

February 4, 2014
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These Middle School Students Are Losing All Their Textbooks. Here’s Why That’s a Good Thing
Flickr, Brad Flickinger/flickingerbrad
Why this forward-thinking county is leaving traditional textbooks behind for very good reasons.

Wake County’s 35,000 middle school students are getting a fancy upgrade to their learning material. Instead of using their decade-old science textbooks, these North Carolina school children will be using Discovery Education’s science “techbooks,” the Cary News reports.

While they can be an excellent source for learning, paper textbooks are heavy and expensive. Wake County middleschoolers who grew up with the web are likely to embrace a new way to learn and discover. The nifty techbooks can translate material into English, Spanish or French, and read aloud. There are also options for video lessons and interactive projects and tests. Plus, the techbook transition is saving the county money. Wake County reportedly has a $875,384 techbook contract with Discovery until June 2017, which is an incredible discount from the $2 million the county would’ve paid for paper books.

And let’s just say it—traditional textbooks can be boring. As Wake County school board vice chairman Tom Benton said, “As a former teacher, I’m excited about this way you can get students engaged instead of having them just read a textbook.” Saving money, keeping kids interested and encouraging a new generation of learning? Sounds like a worthy investment to us.

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

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