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High-Tech Texts

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Tablets and e-readers were a huge deal this holiday season. Amazon can’t stop talking about the Kindle and Kindle Fire, and Apple alone has sold more than 40 million iPads. It was inevitable that someone was going to decide to do more with all those gadgets than just play Angry Birds.

Of course, reading is also a part of that market, and your fave books have been available there for a while now. Even J.K. Rowling eventually decided to get on board and release Harry Potter electronically. But what if you could use your tablet for more than fun stuff? Or, what if it made things you had to do, like homework, more fun? That’s what some textbook publishers have in mind with iBooks. Textbooks, which can cost as much as $100 each, and that are used by five or six students over more than one school year, now cost around $15 and can be constantly updated.

The downside? Tablets aren’t exactly cheap and the iPad in particular, at $499, is quite pricey, and maybe too pricey for your average school district. Still, if you do the math over four years of high school, it might just pay off. What do you think? Vote now and tell us if digital textbooks are the Next Big Thing!

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