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Teaching by the e-Book

Yet another sign that the traditional classroom is undergoing a transformation: School districts in Texas, among other places, are increasingly replacing hardcover textbooks with e-books. In the most extreme case, the Forney district in north-central Texas is in the midst of a plan to use only digital textbooks in grades 5 through 12 within two years. (The initiative depends on the passage of school bond package that includes $11.8 million for student laptops and systems upgrades.) Among the advantages of e-books, school officials say, are that they are easier to update and can be ordered more quickly than traditional textbooks—an important factor for growing school districts. Some teachers avow they are also more dynamic learning tools. No word yet, however, on whether any class has been required to read Great Expectations on a laptop.

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