“Students at Empire High School here [Vail, Ariz.] started class this year with no textbooks _ but it wasn’t because of a funding crisis. Instead, the school issued iBooks _ laptop computers by Apple Computer Inc. _ to each of its 340 students, becoming one of the first U.S. public schools to shun printed textbooks,” Arthur H. Rothstein reports for The Associated Press.
“‘We’ve always been pretty aggressive in use of technology and we have a history of taking risks,’ said Calvin Baker, superintendent of the Vail Unified School District, which has 7,000 students outside of Tucson,” Rothstein reports. “Schools typically overlay computers onto their instruction ‘like frosting on the cake,’ Baker said. ‘We decided that the real opportunity was to make the laptops the key ingredient of the cake. … to truly change the way that schools operated.'”
Rothstein reports, “All of Empire’s students knew about the laptop-only setup when they enrolled, and students who were uncomfortable with it were allowed to enroll in the district’s other, more traditional schools. But Empire has a waiting list. Julian Tarazon, a freshman, said he doesn’t miss lugging around a bag full of books. ‘It was kind of hard at first, because you had to put things in folders,’ Julian said, referring, naturally, to virtual folders on his computer’s desktop. ‘After a couple of days, you kind of get used to it.'”
Full article here.
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Chatham County (NC) rolls out 1,000 of eventual 7,400 Apple iBooks for students and teachers – August 17, 2005
Apple announces 30,000 iBooks deal with Florida’s Broward County Public Schools – July 27, 2005