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Alabama City School District Ditches Textbooks For Laptop Computers

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File photo of students using laptop computers. (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

File photo of students using laptop computers. (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Old-fashioned textbooks are becoming a thing of the past for public school students in Huntsville.

The Huntsville City School district is passing out laptop computers to students in grades four through 12 as it converts from paper texts to digital curriculum.

WAFF-TV reports that the switch is making Huntsville the largest school district in the United States to convert to digital texts all at once.

Superintendent Casey Wardynski says the system has been spending about $100 per textbook, and students get about five books each.

“It can add up,” Wardynski told WAFF.

The computers will cost the district around $3.2 million the first year.

Dozens of parents and student lined up for early registration Tuesday. They signed a contract and paid a $35 fee for a laptop, but students on free or reduced lunch were exempt.

The station reports that all the laptops will have filters embedded to keep students off restricted sites.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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