Fresno State President Joseph Castro wants to put a tablet computer in
the hands of all the university's students, a move he says could save students
and the state dollars on costly hard-bound books.
Spending $500 on a handheld computer and less on digital textbooks over a four- or five-year college career simply makes more financial sense, Castro said Monday during a meeting with The Bee's editorial board.
"These are emerging to displace laptops in the not-too-distant future, so they can be used to write papers and be on the Internet," he said.
But there will be challenges: He said not all textbooks being used by Fresno State professors are tablet-ready. And some traditional textbook publishers say it's difficult to affordably produce high-quality digital versions.
Even so, Castro says he intends to eventually make tablets a requirement. That would allow the university's financial aid office to start shelling out monetary awards typically used for textbooks to students who can't afford to buy a device.
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