Learning from New and Old

When it comes to the topic of having tablets instead of textbooks for grades K-12, most of us will readily agree that students deserve the best quality of information. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of tablets being the best way of learning . Whereas some are convinced that tablets give the best information, others maintain that textbooks provide the best information. While I agree that technology gives a broader expansion of learning for students, I also understand that textbooks give a different kind of learning experience for students. They’re distinctively hands on rather than convoluting with technical issues. Therefore I believe that both textbooks and tablets would be in the best interest for students.

Technology is rapidly growing and everything is now technology savvy. Tablets can hold many different textbooks within them. Proponents of tablets agree that having tablets over textbooks helps the environment because it lowers the amount of printing used in a textbook. In addition, Technology is the biggest component in the market and if students have the opportunity to work with it on a daily basis,it will further them with their careers in the future. Having tablets in classrooms will better prepare students for the upcoming world which are immersed in technology. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The fastest growing and high paying jobs in the United States are technology intensive.” In other words, the world is growing to have quality jobs that work with technology. So with that being said, if students were to start working with technology at an earlier age, they would learn to adapt and learn how to work with technology well, it will benefit their careers later on.

In addition, tablets have many ways of teaching a student to learn. From what I have noticed, teachers also love the fact that they can digitally put homework and quizzes on each students own tablet.

Joel Klein, CEO of News Corporation’s Amplify educational tablet stated, “This is a way for a teacher to prepare her lesson and share it with other teachers to get feedback. I think this is an initiative where we don’t need to butt heads and we can all join together, work together, and do what’s right for teachers and what’s right for kids.”

Klein believes that tablets are only going to benefit students and teachers. Tablets offer ways for all students to interact with one another, and have teachers work together. Also, on average a tablet can hold 8–64 gigabytes of data, which is definitely more than what an average textbook can hold information. Emily Price explains “On the Amazon Kindle Fire, for instance, 1,000 books take up one GB of space.” That is to say that a tablet really has an abundance of storage to hold data. Teachers can put everything and anything they want on a tablet. In that way, tablets help benefit students because it offers a great deal of information on one device.

On the other hand, textbooks are the old school way of learning, but they are still very effective. Studies show that people who read on paper tend to comprehend more than reading digitally. Nicholas Carr, author of “The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains” provided, “people generally read digital text 20–30% slower than print.” Therefore, reading from a textbook is the best way to comprehend information. Carr also states that “reading hyper-linked text may increase the brain’s “cognitive load,” lowering the ability to process, store, and retain information.” That statement shows how reading digitally actually affects a person’s brain in a negative way. Especially, if kids are in grades K-12 when their brain is still developing and it would be harmful to their brains to be reading off of a tablet everyday. Likewise, students are likely to be distracted if they have a tablet in front of them throughout the day.

Michael Bloomberg, MBA, Mayor of New York City stated, “When you have computers there, then there’s the pornography and the social media and the distraction of games.”

Bloomberg claims that if students have devices in front of them they will be too distracted with social media instead of doing school work.

Tablets and technology in general are evolving into the most popular items in the world. Every person, if they have the money is going to have a tablet and the people that don’t are going to want one. Certain people will do absolutely anything to get one. Textbooks aren’t likely to get lost or stolen like tablets would.

The associated press wrote, “In San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, robberies related to internet-enabled handheld devices (including tablets) have accounted for 50, 40, and 25 percent respectively of all robberies in 2012.”

To clarify, In San Francisco, half of the robberies in the year of 2012 had to do with technology devices such as tablets. Besides that, children have a tendency to lose or misplace items. If they do so, all their school work and books would be gone, as simple as that. Furthermore, tablets have many chances of getting hacked, crashing and freezing. If all students are working on the tablets at the same time, the internet connection will slow down and computers may start to freeze. In that case, students would actually lose class time. Students don’t store personal items and all their work in a textbook, like they possibly would with a tablet.

Everyone can agree that students deserve the best quality of learning through grades K-12. I strongly believe that, tablets offer ways for students and teachers to work together more in depth and technology is evolving so for students to work with it at an early age it will only benefit them for later on in life. But I also believe that textbooks give an easier way to comprehend what is being taught, and textbooks aren’t likely to get stolen. Students in grades K-12 will benefit learning from textbooks as much as they will if they learn from tablets.

[Photo, Open textbooks: a great idea catches on by Province of British Columbia, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

[Photo, Educational Quotation: “The challenging job of schools” by Ken Whytock, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0]

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