Oh the glories of private school! That's all pretty impresive! I kick myself everyday for not following my gut on sending Mo to private school.
But I have to say -- copies of original source material was available in every school library of every school I ever attended. It was never really hidden from anyone; you just had to look a little harder for it.
Look at guys like Setanta and TwoPacks -- they didn't use computers to learn history.
Even kids that don't have laptops to tote to class most likely have a computer at home that they manage so I don't get the "big learning curve" thing.
SonofEva went to public school for elementary, but our options were not so good once he got to middle school & above. Fortunately for him, he's an only child so we could afford to look at private schools (barely.) I'm sure you'll make the best possible choices for Mo. It's good to have options.
Yes, original source documents have always been available in libraries, but teachers have traditionally stuck close to their textbooks instead...often it is demanded by "approved" curriculum.
Yes, kids have computers at home, but that won't necessarily teach them how to manage problems with them on their own since Mom or Dad are there. I know SonofEva never fixed anything on his home computer...it was always too easy for him to call Dad. Now he has to figure things out during school hours on his own. That's what students need to know (and too often have to learn) once they're on their own at college.
Key phrases I hear from students all the time:
"Oh no, where did I save that?!" (Teacher reply: "Try your Search button.")
"It's not late! I know I sent it in on time!" (Teacher reply: "Check your Sent folder. If it's there, forward it to me. I'll check the date stamp and give you full credit if it proves you sent it in on time.")
"How come every time So-and-So sends me an attachment, it comes through in coding?" (Teacher reply: "Have him save his document in the prior version and resend it.")
Learning to use their computer in a working environment is totally different from playing games on it at home. And college instructors are not very forgiving.