Last week, Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, NY became one of the first schools in the nation to replace all 40 of its print textbooks with a “digital library” that students can access via a tablet or laptop. In addition to the texts, the library contains interactive tools for notetaking, highlighting, search, and other tasks. It also helps make teachers’ work easier, since they can pull up a page on an interactive whiteboard or send exercises to students’ machines with their notes added. English chairwoman Nancy Bisogno says, “There is so much here, you can go through it all day.”
What’s the Big Idea?
For families of students attending the private all-boys school, not only was the weight of print books a concern, so was the cost: up to $700 per year. Now, they only have to shell out $150 for access to the library after a one-time purchase of a tablet or laptop. Stepinac officials spent a year working with education company Pearson to create a system that Stepinac president Rev. Tom Collins says “will sweep the country…If we can be at the genesis level, the beginning, I can say that we are preparing every student for college.”