Arizona school district to equip more than 600 students with Apple iBooks

“No textbooks? No problem. A revolutionary new high school outside Tucson, Ariz., plans to do away with the bulky, hardcover tomes in favor of laptop computers, making it one of the first schools in the nation to abandon the use of traditional textbooks for the educational value of the internet,” Corey Murray reports for eSchool News.

“When the Vail School District’s Empire High School opens its doors a year from now, all of its more than 600 students will receive Apple iBook notebooks equipped with a wireless card for anytime, anywhere web surfing and internet-based instruction on school grounds. What they won’t receive, however, are textbooks. Though the school will have a traditional library and a number of books and novels on hand, teachers will not be provided with textbooks for each class, said Empire Principal Cindy Lee. Rather, the majority of what students need will be available online using their laptops, she said,” Murray reports.

Full article here.


  1. I am very surprised that a major educational book publisher hasn’t already placed their entire library on the internet. Publications can be updated constantly. The publisher can even produce and grade the random tests on line, and the students can learn at their own pace.

    For a flat fee, a school district’s faculty and students can access the site. Schools save money and storage space. Publisher saves money in ALL areas of production, storage and shipping. And it’s 2 pounds the students don’t need to trudge around. No more “I left my book at home (or school).”

  2. It’s all about convergence. All those books converging into iBooks! iBooks are so much lighter than college chemistry, biology, you-name-it textbooks. Not to mention the fact that you can show off an iBook without looking like a dork. I don’t see many people whipping out their organic chemistry book and saying, “Look at this. Ain’t it freaking awesome?” Not to mention you’re probably more likely to score by lugging around an iBook than a bunch of nerdy books, even if the information from those nerdy books is all accessible from your iBook.

  3. I can see the convenience aspect of this, and the economic rationalist aspect of this, but nothing beats sitting down with a book. Eye-fatigue is a factor with laptops/desktops and with parents this should be a real issue … You can read a book on the beach, or on the train, at the brekkie table, in bed, pretty much anywhere, and then there is the texture, the smell … Try leaving your lappie on the beach when you go for a swim and see if it’s still there when you get back – but I digress … hard copy IS important … I can’t believe people are so keen to trade it for something that is nowhere near as easily accessed. As for up to date information, you only have to look at Orwell’s 1984, or Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to see what perils lie in store for the world when everything goes electronic. Give me books over a laptop any day!

  4. I just spent $300 on books for two classes. I spent $2000 on a PowerBook. If I could have spent the same on an iBook and all of the books necessary for my program here at school, I would be in a much better situation financially. Or not, I would have bought an iPod with the money I saved, but hey, we all have trade-offs.

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