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High-tech high

Phila.’s School of the Future opens with laptops, smart cards, and almost no books.

By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia's $63 million "School of the Future" - built under the guidance of Microsoft Corp. and hailed as a first-of-its-kind model for technologically advanced schools worldwide - opened to its first 170 freshmen yesterday in West Philadelphia, as hundreds of parents, dignitaries, and local and national reporters looked on.
First announced three years ago, the new school and its technology left students in jaw-dropping awe: A laptop for every child. Lockers that open with the swipe of a smart card. A fully wireless building. Virtually no textbooks.
Not even an encyclopedia in the library.