The recent start to the school year has seen one change in more than one classroom around the country:  Students are learning from digital devices more than ever before.  In fact, some experts predict the end to the printed textbook.

At Hayfield, Maryland, students arrive in class and pull netbooks out of a traveling cart available to teachers using online textbooks. The first lesson of the day for Halla’s Advanced Placement Government class is a citizenship test available online through the students’ textbooks.

Digital texts allow teachers to utilize the vast amount of information found on the internet.

By using the online textbook’s test and other resources, [one teacher] said, he is able to make more information available to his students.

“It’s the Internet in a box,” he said. “You’ve got everything you’ve ever wanted.”

That includes videos from the History Channel, maps that come to life and text that can read itself aloud.

Text book publishers have been quick to evolve with the times as well.

“The whole publishing industry is moving toward online,” he said. “When you have a decision, as we did this summer, to buy a hardcover book or digital books … if we had bought hardcovers, those books would have been updated in 2017. Do we really want to be using those books by then?”

Online textbooks are updated frequently, Waters said.

“Right now, the online pricing is a little bit better than the print books,” he said. “Two years ago, it wasn’t like that. In the beginning, it was more expensive.”

He said additional competition in the publishing industry has lowered prices.

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