Tablets vs. Textbooks Essay

Tablets vs. Textbooks Our technology is without doubt advancing at an exponential rate, but how best to use it is still being discerned. Since early Egypt to our modern day society books have been the most prevalent form of education; but now we are transitioning into a world that revolves around efficiency and effectiveness. Although we still use textbooks in our school, many schools are beginning to switch to electronic tablets for their economic and educational value over textbooks.

Technology is undeniably becoming more popular in schools and is facilitating students in their pursuit to learn in many ways. Primarily tablets are more efficient, reducing the time needed to reach the material and thereby allowing the students to gather and learn information at a faster pace. Tablets can also store large amounts of information, including quizzes, tests, textbooks and other files thus removing the need for physical storage of these materials. This conserves money while preserving the environment; and according to “nomoreschoolbooks. ebs. com”, “over six million trees a year are cut down for school paper” costing “thirty to fifty thousand dollars a year per school” as stated in “www. edutopia. org”. Initially the print textbook may seem to be the more cost-effective choice as the average tablet costs around three hundred and eighty six dollars according to “www. tomshardware. com”. But because electronic textbooks cost fifty to sixty percent less than print textbooks, as the students add more documents and data onto their tablet they will actually be saving money.

Support for tablets is increasing, particularly in high levels of government including the secretary of education, Arne Duncan and the federal communications chair, Julius Genachowski who are arguing that school publishers should “switch to digital textbooks within five years to foster interactive education, save money on books and ensure classrooms in the U. S. up-to-date content”. Students would be given the opportunity to learn the most precise and accurate information contrary to an out-of-date printed format.

Tablets can also potentially increase scores on standardized tests. In fact, this statistic was proven by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt who conducted an experiment that showed that kids who used a tablet did twenty percent better than the kids who used a normal textbook. Tablets also provide many technological features that cannot be found in print textbooks. For example, tablets allow the user to highlight and write notes on the electronic textbook while that activity is not permitted in printed textbooks.

Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to implementing tablets in place of textbooks, but the majority of these can be resolved quite effortlessly. For example tablets may crash or freeze; but in reality this rarely ever happens and when or if it does the problem can usually be fixed by just restarting the system. Another major argument is that only rich school districts will be able to afford tablets. This is untrue; if the money that is usually spent on textbooks is redirected into purchasing tablets then every school will be able to allow their students the usage of tablets.

Another argument is that tablets are unnecessary because print textbooks that are not brand new still convey relevant information. The information from the textbook may be relevant but that does not necessarily mean it is correct. Ideas and information change overtime; and we shouldn’t be destroying thousands of trees every time we discover something that is new or different. Additionally many pro-textbook individuals argue that tablets may be too difficult to use for the less-technologically-savvy students. This is also untrue!

According to “tablets-textbooks. procon. org” children in Ethiopia who had no prior technological knowledge or instruction were sent tablets with pre-loaded apps; and within two weeks they were singing the alphabet and within five months they had hacked the tablet’s operating system. Tablets have many benefits that largely outweigh any unfixable drawbacks. Overall tablets would greatly advance our education while conserving money and preserving the environment. Tablets will help better prepare the student for a technologically engaged world.

I think it’s time to lose the twenty pound backpack that each student is forced to haul around; especially when about thirteen thousand seven hundred kids a year are visiting the hospital for backpack-related injuries. The support is everywhere, from the average students to the hard-working teacher even to the secretary of education Arne Duncan. It’s time to make the switch! Bibliography: Johnson, B.. N. p.. Web. 5 May 2013. . Perry, D.. N. p.. Web. 5 May 2013. . Rock, M.. N. p.. Web. 5 May 2013. . . N. p.. Web. 5 May 2013. . . No More School Books. N. p.. Web. 5 May 2013. .

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