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iPads or Textbooks?

Eric Alonso, Staff Reporter

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Should iPads replace textbooks? As more iPads appeared on campus, and more schools began using them as textbooks, the Crocnicle wondered about the benefits and drawbacks of transitioning from textbooks to iPads.

IPads certainly have the advantage of ease of update, life-expectancy, and portability. Their electronic format allows for live updates while textbooks have to wait for the next publish date and, even then, have to wait for the school to buy the latest edition. In that time, the books often become outdated or worn. Books can also be heavy in comparison to the iPads, especially when there are a lot of them. One iPad, in contrast, can contain all of the textbooks for its owner’s classes, all in one small space.

Books, however, also have their own advantages: kinesthetic learning, visual ease, and immediate submission of work. For one thing, using books leads to more actual writing, with pen on paper, and some studies show that this helps learning. Also, some students do not do well with backlighting such as the one the iPad uses. Books and paper also make turning in classwork easier since no equipment is needed.

Since both iPads and textbooks have their advantages, some students prefer a hybrid, or combination, approach. In that case, the iPads would be used for textbook reading and studying, but tests and classwork would still be paper-based. This approach appears to combine the benefits of both formats, but it also means heavier backpacks because of notebooks and increased responsibility because of battery charging requirements.

Since each option had its own appeal and drawbacks, the Crocnicle conducted a mini-survey (of the seventh graders in this case) to see what Crocs preferred. The results are shown on the chart. Nearly half of respondents favored a combination of iPads and books, indicating the school’s BYOD policy, but textbook-based classes, is a good choice.

 

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iPads or Textbooks?