He said, she said: Tablets or textbooks in schools?

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He said:

With the ever-expanding world of technology, one may think that bringing more electronic resources into schools is the next step in education.

However, there are a number of reasons why electronic devices, specifically tablets, should not be implemented in education.

According to a Princeton Associates International Survey in 2013, 70 percent of Americans continue to read print books over e-books. Despite half of American adults now using e-readers or tablets, many see these resources as leisurely tools over educational resources for a number of reasons.

One critical example as to why tablets should not be implemented in schools is the cost. Though over time, e-books may prove to be less expensive, the initial purchase will be a hefty cost, especially when supplying them for an entire school.

According to IMS Research, the average price for a tablet has dropped 20 percent. However, despite this decrease, the average cost is still nearly $400 per device.

If tablets were to replace textbooks throughout schools nationwide, demand would increase, as would price.
Another major concern with tablets is the durability of the device. As many people know, electronic devices require protection and frequent maintenance.

According to N.E.W. Customer Service Companies, the average repair cost of a tablet can cost anywhere between 50 to 100 percent of the purchase price. Meaning, if one student were to break a $400 tablet, they are looking at a repair price anywhere between $200 to $400 dollars.

Outside of these issues, a number of additional concerns still remain. With Wi-Fi access, theft concerns, and students misusing the devices, it is clear that tablets are not ready to replace textbooks in a school setting.

 

He said:

In today’s society, many young adults live in an electronic age. They have cell phones, televisions, the internet, iThis and iThat, and of course tablets and e-readers.

Handheld e-readers allow the user to read entire books, magazines, newspapers, and other written documents at the touch of a button.

With all of that technology in the palm of a hand, why not use it for educational purposes?

By downloading books onto devices, students would only need to carry one relatively light item with them for all of their classes instead of breaking their backs and carrying all of their books from class to class.

This can save both money and the environment.

The New York Times reports that the publishing of paper books have the “highest per-unit carbon footprint.” This means that for every hard copy of a book produced, mass amounts of fossil fuels are used up, and even more waste is produced.

With the development of the e-readers, the new “paperless” books can be used to reduce the amount of materials used to create books.

E-readers also have a better functionality than a normal book. The user can use them to take notes, highlight, bookmark, and much more useful studying tools all at the push of a button.

Normal books are heavy, easy to misplace, and easily damaged. With e-readers, information about books can be backed up onto a hard drive or cloud, which will allow the book to be with the student forever.

As for price, while the initial down payment on a tablet may be hefty, the amount saved when buying books, which cost hundreds of dollars per semester, will easily pay for itself in the end.

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