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Superintendent Bans Physical Books in Classrooms as Part of Digital Initiative

The superintendent of Huntsville City Schools’ adopted a digital initiative four years ago with the intention of eventually “phasing out” all physical textbooks in classrooms.

That time has come, and Dr. Casey Wardynski is now urging all teachers to collect all physical textbooks and remove them from the classroom.

Textbooks, said the schools’ spokesperson Keith Ward, will only be available for an as-needed basis.

"We are still going to have textbooks available and they are going to be in the library and they will be available on an as-need basis for checkout," Ward said, according to WHNT News.

Ward said the initiative was designed in the best interest of students. While digital resources can adapt, hard-cover books are outdated too easily.

"With the digital platform it is always current. It is always up to date. So with that you have other resources. You have audio video resources that are embedded in that as well that you certainly could not have with a hard cover," Ward said.

Critics say the district is overemphasizing technology to a point tat the human experience is neglected.

"Handing a student a computer is an activity, not a result. We could have hired BestBuy to operate our schools if all we wanted was more technology. But we're looking for something else, something a bit more elusive, challenging, and I guess old fashioned: learning,” said a writer for AL.com.

Huntsville City Schools says it is merely keeping up with the expectation that things like Open Educational Resources are now the norm.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/12/2016

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