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The Rise Of Online Education In S. Fla. Schools

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WEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – The days when students carried heavy text books home from school every night to do their homework are just about gone. Textbooks are becoming less and less common in local school systems, as education moves forward into the 21st Century.

Saint Agatha Catholic School in West Miami-Dade is a perfect example of just one of many South Florida schools now using textbooks online but in Saint Agatha’s case, the students use individually owned laptops in class to read their online material.

“It makes it a lot easier to study,” 8th grader Cristina Torres said.

With school system funding decreasing across South Florida and across the rest of the nation, many schools are now using online textbooks and other internet resources to help educate kids in the classroom and at home.

At Saint Agatha, students enjoy using their laptops.

“As the teacher explains her lesson it’s very easy because we can see what’s she’s doing,” said 8th grader Charles Da.

The teachers and the students have the same books so the students follow along during class.

“Instead of having the students flip through the pages in their hardcover textbooks now they just click through the pages,” Principal Maria Glass said.

The school recommended a number of computers all under $300. Now each school year, all parents need to pay for is an inexpensive subscription to the online textbook program, instead of having to pay for the actual textbooks, which can carry a hefty price tag in private schools.

“The parents were paying approximately $450 for textbooks that the mini-laptops now replace,” Glass explained.

Martin Rodriguez paid $280 dollars for his son’s new laptop which is an investment he said was well worth it.

“The enthusiasm he has doing homework, it has paid off already for him,” Rodriguez said about his son.

Now that many school textbooks are available online, forgetting books at school is no longer a good excuse for not doing homework.

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