California is undertaking an experiment that could have ramifications across the country: A new program under way in select California elementary schools has history teachers scrapping traditional textbooks in favor of digital learning materials.

The custom-built history program, called History/Social Science for California, from educational publisher Pearson Scott Foresman, blends printed text, digital, and activities-based instructional methods aligned with state standards.

Through the program, state educators have access to a complete digital curriculum with online books, video, assessment, and interactive learning tools. Using these materials, teachers can build...

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