At the beginning of the school year, Matt Zoph, the principal of Grandview High School in southwestern Jefferson County, Missouri, issued one 500-page ream of paper to each of his teachers. As of March, according to Zoph, not one teacher had come back to ask for more.
That’s because the school has gone nearly paperless. Students do almost all of their work on Coby tablets the school distributed in the fall. Their devices tap into coursework and resources via Moodle-an online, open-source curriculum management system hosted by the state-and open-source digital textbooks from CK-12, a nonprofit foundation working to reduce textbook costs. The results have been significant, starting with about $20,000 a year in savings on paper, according to H. Michael Brown, superintendent of the Grandview R-II School District. He also sees other benefits: shorter school weeks, with students telecommuting on Fridays, and home-schoolers and kids with long-term illnesses able to participate in classes held at school via the Internet.
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