From textbooks to tablets -

Tablets replacing textbooks

Some schools are ditching traditional textbooks in favor of downloading the online version. But what about a class where there are no textbooks, no paper and no pens at all?

One principal in Alabama believes textbooks are outdated and all students need for certain classes can now fit on an iPad.

Principal Cas McWaters was looking for the chance to take science to a new level - and this was it.

Stephanie Hawthorne jumped at the chance to pilot the idea of an entire curriculum online.

She teamed up with the high school's technology guru, Charles Brown. "She had the idea what she wanted to do in terms of curriculum.  She knew the material that she actually wanted to have. It became a task for me to try to make it accessible based on the mobile devices."

The result is not a downloaded book, but a customized app containing the full year's curriculum. Where information resources seem boundless and students can write notes for themselves on the data they're collecting and drop messages in their teacher's inbox.  

One student, Camryn Stinson, says, "It's really organized. Everything is in one space."

Hawthorne says five weeks into the school year and the rate of turning in homework is at 100-percent. "I have four regular classes and one with iPads. That's five classes, and right now my iPad class - they have higher percentages with the activities we are doing in class that are the same."

McWaters adds, "It's the most exciting thing I have seen in over 25 years in education."

The PTO forked over the money for 30 iPads. The principal believes that it's all worth the money, and he's collecting the data to prove it.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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