University Christian trading text books for iPads

School will be the first in NE Florida to implement program

Published On: Jan 19 2012 08:49:34 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 20 2012 07:13:23 AM EST

A Jacksonville school has decided to do away with text books.

University Christian School on the Southside has decided that all students in grades 8 through 12 will be using iPads, rather than traditional text books.

"That's a lot better for us because we don't have to carry all the weight and you can have it all on one device instead of having a bunch of different books," 8th grader Jamie DeNisco said.

Starting next fall, students will be able to download their books and flip through pages digitally on the iPad's touch screen.

"You've got the best of both worlds really," Head of School Heath Nivens said. "From a technology and from a curriculum right at your fingertips."

Students already buy their own books costing them about $700 each year, Nivens said. Now they will be required to buy an iPad, which tend to run at around $500. He said many of the digital text books are free or come at a price of about $15.

"It's going to be a lot easier, and our generation's into more technological stuff, so it'll just help us more," 9th grader Karli Galione said.

Many University Christian teachers are already using iPads in their classrooms and letting students check them out. The "all in" move will make the school the first in the area to have made a complete transition.

"We didn't want to do it halfway," Nivens said. "If we're going to do it, let's be the very best at it."

The school partnered with the Apple Learning Initiative to help implement the program.