California's De Anza Academy of Technology and Arts saves money and paper by going digital

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Dive Summary:

  • Hoping to solve the problem of having students carry heavy textbooks to and from school (and to save paper), The De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts in Ventura used a federal grant in 2010 to provide its students with netbooks.
  • The netbooks have allowed the school to reduce its use of textbooks by beginning a transition toward digital textbooks, and all of the netbooks are equipped with the Microsoft Office Suite thanks to discounted licenses bought in bulk, allowing the school to reduce its paper assignments by 25% in two years.
  • Though electronic textbooks still cost money, that cost is likely less in the long run than replacing and updating paper textbooks and would likely serve schools better when the nation begins assessing the Common Core Standards with an online, computer-adaptive test in 2017, though a transition to e-textbooks is only possible if all students have access to a computer.

From the article:

As winter break ends, kids across Ventura County are returning to their backbreaking work — not their homework, but rather their lugging of heavy textbooks around school and sometimes all the way home. Local schools have tried several solutions. Some issue two sets of the heaviest books, with one meant to be kept at home. In other cases, parents buy a "home set" of textbooks from publishers or online resellers. ...

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Topics: Technology, K12