Textbook Deathwatch

Snippet from HP release:

The Board also heard about a proposal to move to a “living textbook.” This “living textbook” would mean starting in the 2009-2010 school year grades 9 and 10 will be issued a laptop that will be used to load locally created content, do research, complete projects, and meet state standards. North Daviess Community Schools will evaluate each year the classes and textbooks scheduled for adoption to determine if a “new” textbook needs to be adopted or if the old textbook can be used as a classroom set and the content be driven utilizing the resources available in today’s 21st Century Classroom. North Daviess has partnered with Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Matrix Integration to get the new HP Compaq Mini 2140 Notebook PC for $440 with a 3-year warranty. The student rental will be $55 for incoming 9th graders per year for 4 years and $73.33 per year for 3 years for incoming 10th graders. This yearly fee will be in place of the textbook rental fee for identified classes.

This model will reduce the cost of textbooks to the corporation and parents. In line with the textbook rental framework, the student is charged a “rental” fee, for the laptop and content, equal to or below what a textbook would cost. The benefit of this program goes beyond reducing the cost of textbook rental. We will provide a solution that will allow the students to save web sites they visit and the research they complete at school. This allows a student without internet at home to have the same opportunities as those with internet to complete a project and be successful within the rigorous academic studies of the 21st Century High School. “We are closing the digital divide.” states Todd Whitlock, Technology Coordinator at North Daviess Community Schools. “When the student graduates after having been at ND for the 4 years, they leave with the laptop and all the content created! That concept is unheard of.”