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Some San Antonio schools adopt e-textbooks

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — San Antonio-area school districts are incorporating digital learning in different ways.

The San Antonio Express-News ( ) reports that the North East Independent School District has completely transitioned to e-textbooks in science classes through eighth grade and in high school physics classes.

Texas Education Agency data show its state standardize test scores in 2014 improved by 13 percentage points in science and 3 percentage points in math compared to the previous year.

Windcrest Elementary School Principal Jennifer Barton credited e-textbooks with the increase and said their features captivate children who have grown up with similar technology.

"With our digital natives, this is the way we have to go, I think," Barton said.

She said she is hoping bond or grant money can be used to provide each of the school's 650 students with a device.

Other districts such as San Antonio ISD mainly use traditional textbooks. A district spokeswoman said a tablet and e-textbook pilot last year had "good success" and there were fewer lost homework assignments.

Some districts reported that the digitized books cost less than their printed counterparts, but New Braunfels ISD says they're more expensive.

Principal Christie Lawson said e-textbooks can be updated one year to the next but annual payments per student required by publishers can end up costing three times as much as hard copies over the multiyear periods a hard copy would typically be used.

She also said a publisher tried to charge the district a $2,000 "shipping fee" for a set of e-textbooks that would be downloaded electronically.


Information from: San Antonio Express-News,

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