All Digital Everything: NY School Trades In Books Digital Library

Photo: Matthew Brown, The (Westchester County, N.Y.) Journal News

Schools books are heavy and expensive. Imagine walking to and from school everyday with 35 pounds of books on your back. It’s not a pleasant experience for kids. But what if a school goes all digital? No more books, no more school supplies and no more back injuries. Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, N.Y has decided to take the load off their students back and their families pockets by going digital.

Stepinac is one of the first high schools in the country to get rid of  their textbooks and replace them with a digital library. Students will now access all of their text books from their tablets or laptops.

“No one else in the country has this,”  Lisa Alfasi, an account manager at Pearson, a tech/educational company told USA Today.

From USA Today:

Indeed, Dennis Lauro, executive director of the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, which provides technical support to public schools in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties in New York, said that neither he nor his colleagues across the state were aware of a similar digital effort in a public school setting.

“This is the wave of the future,” Lauro said. “I’m not surprised that a private school would beat the public schools to it. They have the ability to just do it. There is so much politics involved in the public schools when it comes to a move like that, needing approval from boards and committees. There will be a lot of interest in what Stepinac is doing.”

For the Rev. Tom Collins, Stepinac’s president, the commitment to digital source material was not a difficult a decision. For one thing, student access to the library may actually be cheaper, given the economics of private schools.

In the past, students’ families had to spend up to $700 a year on textbooks. This year — after the one-time purchase of a tablet or laptop — families have to pay $150 for access to the digital library.

Although this a program happening at a private Catholic school, what happens when a parent can’t afford a laptop or tablet for their child? Imagine having more than one child in a school and having to buy multiple laptops or tablets, that may cost more than the $700 in textbooks.


What do you think about this program? Would you rather textbooks or the access to a digital library in schools?

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