Books are a rarity at Coahulla Creek High School

Books are a rarity at Coahulla Creek High School

August 2nd, 2011 by Mariann Martin in News

Coahulla Creek High School

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Phillip Brown

Coahulla Creek High School

DALTON, Ga. -- A school without books. That is the concept of Coahulla Creek High School and what likely will become the norm in schools in a few years, Principal Phillip Brown told school board members.

"It is getting to the point where everything is going to be digital," Brown said Monday evening, in the last school board meeting before the new high school opens Aug. 10.

Each of the about 700 students attending Coahulla Creek will be given a new Android tablet that will be used to download original source documents, videos and other information from the Internet, Brown said.

Teachers will use that material to teach classes and assign homework.

The move is a step away from textbooks and material presented to students rather than information they learn through original sources, Brown said.

He gave the example of elementary school students learning that Christopher Columbus discovered America. It is not until junior high school that most textbooks go into more detail and teach students that Columbus was not the first European to sail to the Americas, Brown said.

"I'm not anti-textbook," Brown said. "But a digital device allows us to cast a broader net with our resources."

Board member Rodney Lock asked Brown if going digital saved money for the school system.

Brown said it was hard to quantify exactly what one system cost versus the other over the long term. Initially a digital system was less expensive, he said, but might take more money to keep operational.

The Coahulla Creek High School uses the same digital platform the rest of the school system uses, including technology Whitfield County Career Academy has used for several years.

"When it works well, it will be really seamless. Right now there are still some hiccups," he said.

Before closing the school board meeting, board Chairman Louis Fordham spoke briefly about the board's goal to be transparent and stay in touch with the community it represents.

Fordham said the board was looking at developing a dashboard to place on the website that would serve as report card on board progress.

"It is our role to serve as a liaison to the community. We need to do a better job of getting out into the community and working one on one with people," he said.

Contact Mariann Martin at mmartin@timesfreepress.com or 706-980-5824.