U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said last week that textbooks are soon becoming obsolete.
The digital resources that would slide into place stirred some discussion during Monday night's meeting of the Warren County School District board of directors on Monday night at the Warren County Career Center.
"It's happening and it's happening quick," WCSD Superintendent Brandon Hufnagel said of Duncan's comments.
He explained that many school districts are looking at tablets as the solution, taking advantage of many companies that offer free textbooks online.
Hufnagel said that some of the major publishers charge the same for the digital version as the hardcopy version. "There is that cost issue still and it's not making things cheaper."
However he did say that there is a local school district, that went unnamed, which re-wrote curriculum entirely to accommodate and integrate the iPad it is providing to each student.
He said that the iPad will be given to the student when they enter high school as a freshman and will become the student's upon graduation. With the rate of change in technology, there is some question whether the technology would still be beneficial to the students after four years.
Does that mean changes are coming to the WCSD?
Hufnagel said that he is "wanting to sit back and see how it goes" for that district before making any decisions about the WCSD.
"My son has a tablet and would love to have the books on his tablets," board Vice President Donna Zariczny said. "When we get to that it'll be interesting."
Board member Tom Knapp noted that such a transition would be a "big expense for the district providing devices."
Hufnagel pointed out that the costs increase with providing warranties and upkeep for the devices.
"Let's see how it's going to work," Hufnagel said, recalling a grant opportunity from several years ago that provided laptops for each student in some districts. "Most don't have those laptops anymore," he noted. "When those grant dollars ran out, no one could afford it."
The concerns have prompted Hufnagel to take a 'wait and see' approach.
"We'll come on once the solutions are found," he said.