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Are textbooks on their way out? New Kindle pilot project paves the way and ignites interest in biology

Media Advisory

What: Are textbooks on their way out?  New Kindle pilot project paves the way and ignites interest in biology

When: Wednesday (Jan. 30). 3:30 - 4:15 p.m.

Where: Fox Tech High School, 637 N. Main Ave.

Learning knows no limits this semester for Advanced Placement biology students selected to participate in a new technology pilot project. They have the latest information literally at their fingertips now that their traditional textbooks have been replaced by District-issued Kindle Fire ereaders.

Twenty-two students in this one pilot class were issued the tablets for use in the second semester, which officially began last week (Jan. 22). The interactive device conveniently provides students with an electronic version of the course textbook (students used a print version last semester), note-taking abilities, restricted Internet access for research purposes and video-watching capabilities.

During Wednesday’s class, students will power up their devices to watch a video of the photosynthesis lab they will be working on, read the lab instructions and document lab results.

Though the high-definition Kindle Fire is primarily used for the biology class, students are encouraged to also use its pre-approved applications, such as the calculator, camera and dictionary, in other classes, as well.

The goal of the pilot program is to gather information about how the use of the high-tech devices and digital materials impact classroom routines and studies. The District will use feedback from the students and teacher, as well as a comparison of student achievement and satisfaction and motivation levels between the pilot class and a similar non-pilot class, to decide future use of such devices and resources.           
SAISD continues to improve meaningful technology access to students. Through the 2010 Bond program, the District upgraded campus technology so that there now is an average of about two students for every piece of technology. The District’s long-term goal is to have one piece of technology, such as a desktop, laptop or tablet, for every student in SAISD.                                      



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