Tablets vs. Textbooks

May 30, 2014
By Anonymous

Lately, technology has been expanding at a very rapid pace. Nowadays, we have cell phones that we can pull out of our pockets at any time to look up any information that is needed. We can even speak commands to our handy little devices as well. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually quite incredible that we have figured out how to do all of this with technology. With that all being said, technology isn’t just expanding at home or on the go; it’s been brought into our K-12 schools as well. Schools have begun using tablets to enforce certain material. This is causing controversy between many people. Although some people say that having tablets instead of textbooks in school is a bad idea, it is actually true that the use of tablets increases students’ interest in learning new things because it appeals to them more.

Many people could argue that tablets are simply too expensive. It is not incorrect that the combined expense of the tablet, the online textbooks, the new Wi-Fi, and administration training is costly. Lee Wilson, an education marketing expert, said that the annual cost of a tablet per student per each class is $71.55. This was compared to the cost of a textbook which is $14.26 annually (Lee Wilson, “Apple’s IPad Textbooks Cost 5x More Than Print”). Those who are against having tablets in schools have also called the technology a distraction and way to cheat. They have said that, “today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans” (Urs Gasser and John Palfrey, “Mastering Multitasking”). The games and apps that tablets provide are said to be a distraction when students are supposed to be working. Also, the internet is supposedly a distraction, as well as a means of cheating since the web has basically all of the answers to all of the questions you could possibly ask.

However true all of these ideas may be, tablets simply have more beneficial qualities than negative ones. For example, tablets save paper and storage. Since you can hold hundreds of textbooks in just one tablet, tons and tons of paper is saved; as well as storage space in classrooms. Emily Price wrote “How Much Storage Does Your Tablet Need?” in which she spoke about how tablets contain from 8 to 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage space (Emily Price, “How Much Storage Does Your Tablet Need?”).

Another major reason why tablets are a better choice than textbooks in K-12 schools is because students learn more material faster when working with them. It is a proven fact that reading from or working on a tablet will get students more motivated to participate in learning. According to the US Department of Education and studies by National Training and Simulations Association, “technology based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30-80%” (Federal Communications Commission, “Digital Textbook Playbook). Because of this reason, important officials in education agree with having tablets in classrooms (Federal Communications Commission, “Digital Textbook Playbook). They are simply more efficient when it comes to learning and getting a good education.

Speaking from experience of using tablets in class, I personally find them more beneficial than textbooks. This is because I, along with my peers, find it more interesting to be learning a lesson from technology. It keeps us more engaged and involved in our education. For me, when I use a tablet in my chemistry class, for example, I feel like I learn much more because I actually want to use the tablets to learn the material. It’s much more attention-grabbing than reading from a textbook.

Even though those opposing having technology in school may have relevant arguments, they are not important enough to take the tablets out of K-12 schools. Education is top priority, and if these tablets are helping increase learning in schools, then they need to be mandatory. It would be very surprising to see this kind of opportunity for a better education go to waste. This kind of technology will improve students’ learning; it is already a proven fact.

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