Should Tablet PCs Replace Textbooks in School?

Share your thoughts on whether heavy print texts should go the way of the buffalo.

Technology has certainly changed a lot since many of us were in high school - from simple pocket calculators to phones that have more processing power than the Apollo spacecraft that landed on the moon.

In less than 10 years, wireless Internet itself has expanded from a slow transfer rate and short range to transmitters that can spread the Internet to an entire office building with blazing speeds.

Computers have gone from large, tower-based machines with bulky monitors to laptops and tablets that can fit in manila envelopes.

It's an amazing change of pace and with these changes, education has had to rapidly try to adapt.

Tablet PCs and eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle offer a wide range of possibilities through interactive textbooks, a plethora of digital applications, light-weight portability and an environmentally friendly aletrnative overall.

However, a key drawback currently for school districts is price. For instance, iPads cost $499 to start, and even a basic Amazon Kindle is $79. Meanwhile in many cases it's more economically sensible for school districts to buy physical textbooks in bulk.

Should schools start switching over to Tablet PC devices like the Kindle or iPad or continue using print textbooks?

Take the following poll, and share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Tre August 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Tablets and iPad still are too fragile for students. Btheir textbooks look like they get run over by cars. I think the tablets needs to be a little sturdier before they decide to make the switch
Debbie August 24, 2012 at 12:19 PM
My middle school student often had homework assigned from an online textbook. There was usually a problem with the web site, so he was unable to complete the assignment. After an hour of struggling with the computer, I would write a note to the teacher that he attempted the assignment. The next day, he would hear that everyone had the same problem. Physical textbooks don't crash and even work in power outages. The only frustration is in actually completing the work.
Richard Lindner August 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM
What poll?
Leslie Rurup August 25, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I worry more about theft. A kid getting bullied out of her iPad. And the parents being financially responsible for their kid's "losing" a $500 iPad. And Debbie is right: I tried taking a couple of free online offerings here at Stony Brook & had trouble with the connection until I brought it to a geek there. Longwood students have 2 sets of books: one in school & one at home. Cuts down on the 30 lb. backpacks, somewhat. Maybe think of a pilot program with an elective, and try it online. But let's not have them fall behind on the mandatory materials because they couldn't get to the website with the lesson on it.


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