More schools across the country are investing in technology and transitioning to electronic textbooks. This prompts a discussion on whether or not the move really cost effective. This post follows Chicago area school districts in their debate.
More students in Highland Park and Deerfield high schools are using electronic textbooks because students and their families are already using several electronic devices — and school officials are studying the best way to provide adequate infrastructure for users.
As the District 113 Board of Education examines the burgeoning use of web based textbooks, it has also stressed the issue of equal access for all students.
District 113 has in recent years coordinated technology efforts with Deerfield and Highland Park elementary school districts. Deerfield District 109 in March authorized its first major computer buy in nearly three years, more than $325,000 for Google Chrome Books, Nexus 7 Tablets and support equipment for web-based learning.
“In my opinion the kids and families are ahead of the publishers” of e-books, Sue Hebson, assistant superintendent for Instruction and Communications, said in an interview. “Whether it’s a smart phone, texts read on their phones or laptops, or the use of tablets or iPads, students are ahead of the game when it comes to the actual devices.”
What this means for educators, said Hebson, “is that schools have to keep up, to manage the infrastructure, making schools WiFi accessible, and providing enough bandwidth so kids can get online.”
E-education “is more viable to us,” Hebson added, “because we’ve done significant work on our infrastructure and bandwidth. We’re much more ready than we were two to three years ago.”
CONTINUE READING Using Electronic Textbooks Can Help Schools Cut Costs