High school implements ‘textbook-free’ environment

High school implements ‘textbook-free’ environment

Going from print to digital is becoming more popular in the business world, but the concept hasn’t proliferated as quickly in schools. Each year, students and taxpayers pay hundreds of dollars for textbooks that will eventually become outdated. This, along with the fact that bags can weigh between 18 to 30 pounds, prompted the Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, to launch a digital library, USA Today reported.

This digital library allows students to access all of the school’s textbooks from a tablet. In the past, Stepinac students paid an average $700 per year for book materials, and now it’s going to cost them $150 per year to access the library. Despite the one-time fee of the tablet, the cost savings parents and students enjoy is spread across four years.

“It’s not only lighter, but you’re mobile,” student Nicholas Dadario told the source. “You can bring your computer to your friend’s house, wherever, and you’re all set.”

When Dadario weighed his backpack out of curiosity the year before, he realized he was carrying at least 35 pounds of school materials—not including notebooks or binders. Stepinac’s digital textbook library was made possible through a partnership with Pearson Education, a large textbook publisher.

“No one else in the country has this,” Pearson account manager Lisa Alfasi explained.

Alfasi and Reverend Tom Collins, Stepinac’s president, hope that this change will encourage other education systems to switch from print to digital textbooks. “If we can [do this] at the genesis level, I can say that we are preparing every student for college,” Collins said.

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