In response to persistent concerns over the weight of backpacks for students, a school in White Plains is the first high school in the nation to go digital and get rid of all paper textbooks for good. YNN's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
If the students at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains grow up with back problems, they will not have their teachers to blame.
That's because the school says it is the first high school in the entire nation where every textbook is now digital.
"I have to say, mostly it's because of the backpack issue. Parents are always complaining that the kids are walking around with backpacks that are half their body weight," says Patricia Murphy from Archbishop Stepinac High School.
So, as part of a pilot program with Pearson, which develops digital learning tools, each student's books are in e-form, meaning they're accessible on laptops or tablets.
Students just log into the system, download whatever books they need and start using them.
"I think it's perfect, because it's digital, it's accessible anywhere, it's up to date, it's the latest and greatest versions," Murphy says.
The students, who have grown up using computers and technology as much as their parents grew up using crayons and pencils, say this makes perfect sense.
"I thought it was a very good idea, considering you could access different textbooks from different grade levels," says 10th grader Liam Butler. "If you're ever confused on a topic, it's a different way of looking at the subject."
"As a class as a whole, you can have class notes on the textbook, so the teacher can update stuff, and we can go home and look at it," says 10th grader Nicholas Dadario.
Now, there are those who may think this system works well for a private school, but question whether it makes sense for public schools or public school school parents to buy the devices.
Well, the folks at Archbishop Stepinac High School say that in the long run, the system actually saves a decent amount money.
"Textbooks are $90 apiece, so if you have six subjects, you're close to $600 already. If you buy yourself a $399 iPad mini or Galaxy or Netbook, it's paying for itself after the first year," Murphy says.
In addition to buying a digital device, there is an extra $150 cost a year for access to all the textbooks.
Stepinac staff also says they like the system, because they feel it better prepares their students for life after high school, as more and more colleges and universities are increasingly go digital.