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Monday, June 20, 2011

Digital Books in Missouri: Grandview High School to Pass Out Electronic Tablets


School district moves to digital books

Grandview officials ready to pass out electronic tablets to high school students

By Kevin Carbery
June 20, 2011

The paperless era is ready to begin at Grandview High School.
Well, the nearly paperless era.
With the Grandview School District's recent purchase of 400 electronic tablets for students, teachers, other staff and administrators at Grandview High, district officials hope to eliminate paper usage as much as possible. The Grandview schools complex sits at 11470 Route C in southwestern Jefferson County.
The Grandview Board of Education approved the switch from standard textbooks and paper to electronic tablets at Grandview High at a March meeting. The approval came after completion of a pilot project in the first few months of 2011 that used Haipad Androids, a brand of electronic tablet.
"This is the best way to prepare students for the future," Grandview High Principal Matt Zoph said. "We're now teaching on their level, rather than on our level."
Zoph is entering his first year as the high school principal after having been the school librarian and the district's assistant technology director.
Teachers and other staff have already taken training on how to use electronic tablets in the classroom and will have another workshop on it later.
When the expected 360 students arrive at Grandview High for the start of the new school year Aug. 18, they each will receive an electronic tablet and be instructed how to use it.
"Kids don't need much training," Superintendent Michael Brown said. "The teachers need the training."
The electronic tablets will allow students to read textbook information, write notes and take tests without the necessity of killing trees, Brown said. The goal is to minimize paper use.
"You'll always have a need for paper," he said. "And, there are some students who, for various reasons, do require textbooks."
The district bought 400 Coby Kyros electronic tablets at $160 per unit for $64,000 through CDW, a national electronics supplier. The 20 Haipad Androids the district obtained for the pilot program were returned for credit.
The money may sound alarming to some, Brown said, but district personnel project that the effort actually will save costs in the long run.
He pointed out that the district spends approximately $330 per pupil per year on textbooks alone. With the $160 electronic tablets, the district will be using free or low-cost on-line materials, he said.
Students will have the same responsibility of ownership of the electronic tablets as they have had with textbooks. That means their families will have to pay for lost or damaged units, the superintendent said.
On the plus side, Brown said he could see Grandview officials allowing students to keep their electronic tablets for little cost upon graduation.
The move to electronic tablets at Grandview High is bringing the district a great deal of attention.
Click Here to Read More.

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