Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Arizona School Will Not Use Textbooks

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A high school in Vail will become the state's first all-wireless, all-laptop public school this fall. The 350 students at the school will not have traditional textbooks. Instead, they will use electronic and online articles as part of more traditional teacher lesson plans.

Vail Unified School District's decision to go with an all-electronic school is rare, experts say. Often, cost, insecurity, ignorance and institutional constraints prevent schools from making the leap away from paper.

"The efforts are very sporadic," said Mark Schneiderman, director of education policy for the Software and Information Industry Association. "A minority of communities are doing a good or very good job, but a large number are just not there on a number of levels."

Calvin Baker, superintendent of Vail Unified School District, said the move to electronic materials gets teachers away from the habit of simply marching through a textbook each year.

He noted that the AIMS test now makes the state standards the curriculum, not textbooks. Arizona students will soon need to pass Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards to graduate from high school.

But the move to laptops is not cheap. The laptops cost $850 each, and the district will hand them to 350 students for the entire year. The fast-growing district hopes to have 750 students at the high school eventually.

A set of textbooks runs about $500 to $600, Baker said.

It's not clear how the change to laptops will work, he conceded.

"I'm sure there are going to be some adjustments. But we visited other schools using laptops. And at the schools with laptops, students were just more engaged than at non-laptop schools," he said.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Comic-Con and FOSS Comic Book Solutions
    After whetting his appetite at this year’s Comic-Con, our resident Linux newbie discovers free and open source apps for reading digital comics, as well as a treasure trove of available sources for free comics online.
  • Linux Kernel 3.12.62 LTS Improves SPARC Support, Updates the Networking Stack
    Linux kernel developer Jiri Slaby announced the release of the sixty-second maintenance update for the long-term supported Linux 3.12 kernel series, which will receive support until 2017 because of SUSE Enterprise Linux. Linux kernel 3.12.62 LTS is a modest update, and looking at the diff from the previous maintenance release, version 3.12.61, we can notice that it changes a total of 96 files, with 1213 insertions and 1053 deletions. Among the changes, we can notice lots of fixes for the SPARC hardware architecture, but there are various other improvements for the ARM, MIPS, PA-RISC, and x86 instruction set architectures.
  • ‘Anatine’ Is a Simple Desktop Twitter App for Linux
    Anatine describes itself as a 'pristine Twitter app for Linux', but is it anything more than a wrapper around the mobile website?
  • Skype for Linux Alpha 1.3 Released With Small Bug Fixes
    A small bug fix update to Skype for Linux alpha is now available, and fixes, among many changes, errant close to tray behaviour on the Cinnamon desktop.
  • On the killing of intltool
    Say thanks to Daiki Ueno for his work maintaining gettext and enhancing it to make change practical, and to Javier Jardon for pushing this within GNOME and working to remove intltool from important GNOME modules.
  • On discoverability
    I've discussed elsewhere that usability is about real people doing real tasks in a reasonable amount of time. Some researchers also refer to "learnability" and "memorability" to define usability—this is very similar to discoverability. Can you discover the features of the system just by poking at it? Is the user interface obvious enough that you can figure it out on your own?
  • This is Lubuntu 16.10’s New Default Wallpaper
    The default wallpaper of Lubuntu 16.10 — yes, that's Lubuntu, with an 'l' — has been unveiled — but will fans of the lightweight Ubuntu spin like it?

today's howtos

Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers