The Etext in Action
Rivero, Victor, Multimedia & Internet@Schools
EXAMPLE 1--AT LORAIN CITY SCHOOLS IN OHIO
Twenty-five miles west of Cleveland in the Lake Erie port city of Lorain, Lorain City Schools is the 10th largest urban school district in the state of Ohio. Comprising 16 schools and 8,382 students, the high-poverty district (17% of the city's population lives below the poverty line) includes two high schools, three middle schools, 11 elementary schools, and three alternative schools. Ford Motor Co.'s Econoline van plant there ceased production in 2005; thousands of residents still work in Lorain's steel mills. Lorain is 69.7% white, 15.9% black, 0.44% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.56% from other races, and 21.03% Hispanic or Latino of any race. The school district operating budget is approximately $95.6 million.
Two years ago, with nearly all of their textbooks up for replacement at the same time, leaders at Lorain City Schools faced the impossible task of doing what all school districts must do to survive: provide their students with a basic education. No stranger to the tight budgets that have crippled so many school districts across America, chief information systems officer Gary Brantley needed to come up with a solution.
With strong support from a tech-savvy and shrewd-negotiating superintendent Cheryl Atkinson, Brantley set out to make things go right despite the odds. Brantley asked the following question: How can we move our students into the 21st century, maximize textbook savings, minimize textbook weight, and ensure we provide our students a world-class education that won't again be obsolete or tattered beyond use in a few more years?
"We determined that we might need to take a new approach to textbooks," says Brantley, who launched an investigation into the matter and liked what he saw. "The first thing we did was look at the cost factor. We were looking at 2,300 math textbooks, or $181,000. For ebooks, you're looking at …
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Publication information: Article title: The Etext in Action. Contributors: Rivero, Victor - Author. Magazine title: Multimedia & Internet@Schools. Volume: 17. Issue: 4 Publication date: July-August 2010. Page number: 16+. © 2009 Information Today, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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