A Cincinnati school has purchased 1,200 Nook Color e-readers to replace traditional textbooks.
Officials say students at the school, which includes grades seven through 12, will be able to take the devices home, ensuring they have mobile access to academic resources. Officials say the Nooks will be less costly than traditional textbooks and help schools update texts more frequently. However, they also are worried about the potential for theft.
In a bustling hallway during class change at Western Hills University High School, an eighth-grade boy bounded up to the man with the Barnes & Noble name tag.
“Are you the Nook guy?” he asked, thrusting his new Nook Color e-reader at the man. “I have a question.”
In a nearby classroom, other junior high students used their bus passes to smooth air bubbles from underneath the clear screen protector they’d just installed on their Nooks.
And on walls, doors and windows, signs only a few feet apart tell students to “Keep an eye on your Nook at all times.”
The grade 7-12 school in Cincinnati is joining a movement taking hold around the country, as school districts take their first tentative steps into the digital age. Using $200,000 in federal grants, Western Hills Principal Stephanie Morton bought all 1,200 of her students take-home Nook Color e-readers. The devices, similar to small tablet computers, are intended to replace bulky, expensive textbooks and give students portable access to online classrooms and resources.
Morton said it’s important to equip her students – 73 percent of whom are low-income – with the digital know-how to succeed in college or a career. The devices will help them in day-to-day schoolwork because they won’t have to rely on libraries or computer labs to access the Internet after school. With the Nook, they can access the Internet wherever there is a hotspot.
“I really wanted to expose our students to more technology,” said Morton. “A lot of our students don’t have a computer or the Internet in their homes.”
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