A pilot project in four California school districts will replace 400 students’ eighth-grade algebra textbooks with iPads in an attempt to prove the advantages of interactive digital technologies over traditional teaching methods, reports the “Hillicon Valley Hill” (http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/117625-california-testing-ipads-as-algebra-textbooks).

Education firm Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has teamed up with California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss for the pilot, which will take place at Long Beach Unified School District, Riverside Unified School District, Fresno Unified School District and San Francisco Unified School District.

“This is a seminal moment. It marks the fundamental shift from print delivery of curriculum to digital,” saysJohn Sipe, vice president of K-12 sales at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Students randomly selected for the program will receive iPads loaded with digital versions of their textbooks for the coming school year. Their progress will be tracked and compared against that of their classmates using traditional textbooks to determine the potential benefit of a switch to digital technology, says the “Hill.”