Arizona School Ditches Textbooks For Notebooks

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One public school in Vail, Arizona will see its 350 students toting laptops to classes instead of hefty paper books.

Empire High School in Vail won’t be a welcome place for the ancient concept of book covers this coming scholastic year. It’s hard to put a book cover on a book that you don’t have. Well, at least not as many as students have had in past years.

This year, parents will be investing in backpacks with built-in padded laptop pockets, which will be better suited to carry the laptop computers the school will issue this year.

Content on the notebooks will complement the traditional teaching methods used in classrooms. The school will have wireless connections throughout its campus, and at night the students will take them home to complete homework lessons on them.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, parents will have the option to purchase an insurance policy for $54 to cover a laptop should it be lost or stolen. That amount probably represents a prudent investment parents should consider.

It’s a step toward what will likely be a standard in classrooms of the future, but a number of factors, like costs and other constraints, keep even an optimist like Microsoft chairman Bill Gates from seeing that change happen overnight.

In February, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., spoke before the National Governors Association, calling the American high school obsolete.

“Training the work force of tomorrow with the high schools of today is like trying to teach kids about today’s computers on a 50-year-old mainframe,” Mr. Gates said. “It’s the wrong tool for the times.”

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Arizona School Ditches Textbooks For Notebooks
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