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House bills seek textbook phase out

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A pair of bills before the House Education Committee seek to make digital learning more prevalent in North Carolina schools and eventually phase out textbooks by 2018.

HB 23 is a plan to put more digital learning guidelines in place, and HB 44 would take resources away from using books and put more money into buying laptops, tablets, and software.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools currently have a pilot program with six classrooms total in six different schools that use either laptops or tablets.

The district is using the program to experiment with digital learning and gain the knowledge needed to expand it.

The district wants to reach a point where many students are able to bring their own tablets or computers to school for use on assignments.

Guilford County Schools won a Race to the Top grant that will put iPads in every middle school in the county.

There's no money at this point to buy iPads for students in high school or elementary school, according to chief of staff Nora Carr.

Carr said her district would consider trying to rent the expensive equipment without state or federal funding, noting that technology quickly becomes obsolete.

"I think it's a great idea," Carr said of the two bills. "You just have to pay for it."