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Private School Says No To Textbooks, Yes To Tablet PCs
Marvin Hlavac
Central Alabama is home to one of the nation’s top technology schools. Students at Tuscaloosa Academy in Tuscaloosa are required to use Tablet PC’s instead of textbooks.

Laptops come preloaded with various software. There is no mention what mapping software, if any, they use to learn about geography.

Video: Private Tuscaloosa School Trades Textbooks For Laptops
Marvin Hlavac
Out of curiosity I sent out an email to a person in charge of computer technology at Tuscaloosa Academy. It turns out they do not have any mapping software on the tablets. Very likely some of the students have downloaded something like Google Earth. However, they haven't yet discussed mapping software.

Mrs. Tammi Scheiring of Tuscaloosa Academy writes: "We have a wonderful middle school program that includes geography and we have an incredible earth science teacher who is very open to using technology and is always looking for ways to improve instruction. We are always open for suggestions – especially while we are looking for things to replace textbooks!"

Do we have any teachers among our readers? Does anyone think mapping software on the student's laptop computers is a worthwhile idea, or money could be spent better somewhere else?

I suggested they consider downloading the free 60-day evaluation version of Microsoft Streets & Trips 2009. Would anyone suggest different software?

Streets & Trips retails for around $35, and I don't know if Microsoft has volume discounts for this product, or perhaps even discounts for educational institutions. That would be something the school would have to research.

I'm attaching here Microsoft Streets & Trips screenshots for people not familiar with the product:





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