Patch Talk: Should Tablet PCs Replace Print Textbooks in School?

With the rising popularity of the Apple iPad and Google Nexus 7, should heavy print texts go the way of the buffalo?

Technology has 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 spacecrafts that landed on the moon.

In just under 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. Many schools throughout Long Island are equiped with full-blown wireless internet access and the Mineola School District has been using iPads in elementary classrooms for the past couple of years.

Tablet PCs and eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle offer a wide range of possibilities through interactive textbooks, digital applications, light-weight and are enviornmentally friendly overall.

The drawbacks are numerous, of course – iPads cost $499 to start and even a basic Amazon Kindle is $79 while many textbooks are free as a part of the education system. The devices are sought after by everyone and sell well on the black market, which could make school children the targets of someone looking to make a buck.

We want to know what you think. Should schools start switching over to Tablet PC devices like the Kindle or iPad or continue using print textbooks?

Let us know in the comments below.

ES August 28, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Everyone bringing up the cost issue is ignoring the fact that tablets break. Technology has to be supported by staff that doesn't exist now. The technology has to be upgraded constantly to handle newer applications as they come out. All of these cost money. Plus, remember "the dog ate my homework" excuse? Now we'll have, "my tablet wouldn't boot"... "my tablet crashed". Books are books.
mimi August 29, 2012 at 12:35 AM
...and books get lost, damaged and never returned. The children have actually been very good in keeping their ipads in good condition. They have been responsible with them and there has been little damage to any of them.
mimi August 29, 2012 at 12:36 AM
You are also wrong about the staff not existing to support these tablets. The district, in fact, has in-house support.
Cypher August 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM
So mimi, how much are we TAXPAYERS paying to support tablets now? Whose tablets?
Cypher August 30, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Text books doesn't cost as much as tablets. Nor do they have a half life as short as a tablet's. And as for the electronic media, that's what libraries are for if you don't have computers at home. Any more of our working money you want to spend?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »