There is a huge debate nowadays between the government, educationalbodies (schools, universities, research centers and institutes, etc.
) andtechnology industries on the future of education and whether to keep usingtextbooks or pushing tablets instead. This is raising an important question,should tablets replace textbooks? “Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tested aversion of the Algebra 1 textbook on the IPad in California’s Riverside UnifiedSchool District. Students who used the digital version scored 20% higher onstandardized tests than the students who used textbooks” (Rock). Whiletextbooks might be available, tangible and affordable, tablets are light,handy, up to date, flexible and environment friendly.
Those in favor of textbooks believe that tablets are tooexpensive. However, tablets are a lot cheaper than textbooks because unliketextbook, they are not bought every year. In other words, new textbooks arebought by schools every year due to the release of new versions and editions,making the old books outdated; however, tablets contain information that is regularlyup to date. Because of that, schools will not need to buy tablets every yearbecause it is easier to update information regularly and pass it on to upcomingstudents. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the United Statesspends around $7 billion per year on textbooks (McGraw, Pearson and HoughtonMifflin Harcourt). On the other hand, the Los Angeles Unified School Districtstated that $30 million were spent on tablets for 640,000 students. Overall, tabletssave money as information is instantly updated and they could be used for along time.
Opponents of tablets claim thatstudents learn more for textbooks because it is more tangible as they canhighlight important points and write notes on the paper. On the contrary,tablets provide modernized information, interactive videos and quizzes that canhelp the student learn and understand quicker and better. These integratedquizzes give feedback to students on their progress, and educational games alsohelp a lot.” A study has shown that a game known as Motion Math helped childrenwith fundamental math skills. Therefore, their test scores were increased by15% after playing the game for 5 consecutive days” (Wainwright).
In conclusion,tablets in schools and education in general are very important as they not onlymake the student learn by reading or writing notes , they make them learn bytaking online quizzes, playing games, or even watching videos which make thestudent understand as well as enjoy the subject that he is taking. Defenders of textbooks point outthat tablets cause several health injuries such as eye strains, headaches, blurredvision or dry eyes. However, this problem could be solvable because thetablet’s brightness can be decreased which will prevent eye strains. Kindle,for example, does not have an LED screen, instead they have a unique type ofscreen that does not cause eye strain. In fact, tablets actually turn out to beenvironment friendly.
Paper is not wasted as much anymore because students haveall their textbooks digitally stored on a device which leads to the eliminationof paper waste. In addition, instead of creating new editions of a book andwasting thousands or even millions of paper, it is easier to have the textbookupdated with new information on a regular basis. On the whole, while tabletsmight cause eye strains, they still save trees which have many benefits andeffects in everyday life. Briefly, there has been different points of views on whether tabletsshould replace textbooks or not. Some people prefer textbooks while othersfavor tablets. Supporters of textbooks argue that tablets are nontangible,expensive and cause injuries while opponents of textbooks believe that tabletsare light, accessible, handy, regularly updated and benefits the environmentglobally.
Tablets, however, are preferable because they provide services thatmakes the student enjoy it from the educational part as well as the fun part.In conclusion, textbooks and papers won’t exist soon and tablets will take overeverything.