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Goodbye Textbooks, Hello ebooks

High school students in some California public schools will throw-out their textbooks for so-called "ebooks" next school year.

That’s because Governor Schwarzenegger wants to begin replacing hardbound textbooks with the electronic reading devices. He says ebooks will save the state millions of dollars in education funding because the material can be updated quickly and easily.

The San Diego Unified school board has already discussed tossing-out hardbound textbooks for the digital format.


Tech expert Matt Spathas says that’s a step in the right direction.

“It will drive down delivery costs, I do believe that," Spathas said. "But I don't think it’s transformative to a new kind of delivery in education.”

Spathas believes technological reform in education goes beyond digitizing pages from a textbook. He’s part of a larger movement of educators who want personal laptops and online instruction to be the foundation in all classrooms.

“The role of the teacher moves to coach. Students actually are doing their coursework online. Then they’re also getting real-time diagnostics and feedback on how they're progressing in the content area. And they don't move on until they've master it.”

San Diego Unified is offering more online classes than ever before. The Governor wants to see the same thing take root in more high schools after the summer break. He also says to expect to see more teenagers using ebooks next school year.