The costs of purchasing and maintaining laptop computers is fast approaching that of purchasing textbooks, say a number of advocates of computer-based learning in traditional classrooms. One leading computer-oriented charter school in California has determined that equipping students with laptops is only 20 percent more costly than purchasing textbooks each year. Often the computers can be leased, which reduces initial cash outlays even further. And with laptops, students have access to far more information—and information in different formats—than textbooks can provide.

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