This fall, a Tuscon high school will become the state's first all-wireless, all-laptop public school, replacing standard paper textbooks with online articles. The intent is to force teachers away from the habit of "simply marching through a textbook each year" by forcing teachers to create lesson plans based on available online articles. To completely toss out textbooks is a haphazard, careless move. While students with laptops are more engaged in the classroom (hopefully not IM'ing with classmates), to assume that a textbook can be replaced by Googling today's lesson is a tad aggressive. It's not that laptops are a bad idea in the classroom -- but, to implement them without a clear plan or curriculum is careless. Even the superintendent admits that "It's not clear how the change to laptops will work." While the intentions are good, school administrators are looking to put in a quick fix for outdated textbooks (this time with the PR-worthy cry of "The Internet Will Save Our Schools!") -- then again, at least Arizona isn't following California's lead and outlawing all books over 200 pages.
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