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WAKE COUNTY SCHOOLS MOVING TO DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS

Wake County's middle schools are getting their first new science textbooks in nearly a decade, but they're nothing like the paper textbooks of the past.Wake's 35,000 middle school students will log into Discovery Education's Science techbook, an online site that includes a variety of interactive resources. Wake's first big plunge into digital textbooks, or "techbooks," points both to the opportunities that the new technology provides and the equity challenges for low-income families who don't have Internet access at home"Science is just the first step," Wake County school board vice chairman Tom Benton said when the board approved the $875,000 digital textbook contract last week. "This is the direction that we're moving in as a society, I believe, and to me it's an exciting direction if we can get over the hurdle of equity."