Could Kindles, iPads, and other reading devices soon be as common in Georgia schools as textbooks? Maybe, if a bill passed by the state Senate is approved in the House, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. On Feb. 2, the Georgia Senate voted 45-5 to expand the definition of “textbook” to include computer hardware and technical equipment to support the use of digital content. Sponsored by Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, the bill would give local school districts the flexibility to expand their spending options and seek modern, alternative methods of receiving information. Reading devices, where textbooks could be downloaded into the unit, are one option, he said. Staton said he met with several local education officials who urged him to look at ways that could give them more flexibility in how they spend their already tight dollars. “They said spending is being cut, so give us more flexibility. So this is removing certain state regulations,” said Staton, who chairs the state Senate’s Science and Technology Committee. “And technology is advancing rapidly. The definition of a textbook that is traditional is not going to cut it. My 14-year-old will learn better and faster if information is delivered by electronic means, other than ‘go read this.’”

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