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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Schools shift from textbooks to tablets


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Well before the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy was in full swing, students could read about the weather system that slammed the East Coast in their textbooks.

    Welcome to the new digital bookcase, where traditional ink-and-paper textbooks have given way to iPads and book bags are getting lighter. Publishers update students' books almost instantly with the latest events or research. Schools are increasingly looking to the hand-held tablets as a way to sustain students' interest, reward their achievements and, in some cases, actually keep per-student costs down............

    Putting a device in every student's hand is not a pie-in-the-sky dream. Some 2,000 schools already have partnered with Google to use its lightweight Chromebooks, which start at $199. Some 20 million students and teachers are already using them, company officials said.

    And a study from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found that more than 40 percent of students or teachers use some sort of tablet in their Advanced Placement and National Writing Project classrooms..............

    More at link.....

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Black Hills
    This is a great idea for the schools to do; it will help the students in school and in careers later. $199 for a Chromebook is nothing, I have spent more than that on just one textbook. I just hope this becomes available to every student in this country.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Central PA
    For those of us in low-socio-economic status schools, this is a "pie-in-the-sky" dream. We just replaced textbooks from 1996 last year; they were falling apart. On-line texts are great, but you only have access for a limited number of years AND you have to pay for EVERY student that uses one. The costs of the e-readers also multiply exponentially with purchase, repairs, etc. A textbook is a one-time expense that can be reused and adapted for years.

    At one point, there were some great programs available that helped out schools like ours with equipment, but they have dried up. The on-line text version from some companies can be had for "free" with the purchase of traditional texts with a lot of negotiation. We were fortunate to get that, but it took some serious horse-trading. We're hoping that if the economy improves we will be able to purchase some tablets at some point, but we really need computers for standardized testing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Palm Springs
    I certainly see the advantages of updating information so soon after events occur.

    But one look at today's TV news should remind us how easily speed of info can replace substance and careful contemplation of historical events.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I work in a high-poverty school district and we're slowly going to this thanks to grants that our "tech lady" applied for. I believe most were private corporate grants. I'm really looking forward to a large changeover since textbooks are expensive, in limited supply and quickly outdated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    our school district recently (two years ago) began using tablets. They have not replaced school books exactly but we haven't had much in the way of school books for years anyhow. The teachers would have the book and copy worksheets and excerpts and distribute to students. Cumbersome and killing trees, lol.

    In DS elementary school use the tablets to play games. educational games that assist them in learning their vocabulary words, math facts, etc.

    In DD's middle school they have limited access to the internet and do a lot of their studying with the tablet but do still have textbooks as well.

    I think this is where schools are heading no matter the socioeconomic status of individual schools.

    My kids attend low income schools are we are in a budget CRISIS in our district. As are many others I am sure.

    But in the long run the tablets will actually be a savings for schools IMO. Textbooks are so expensive.

    Many of the tablets in DS school were purchased with the help of saving Box Tops for education and some of the other grocery brand promotions who offer funds to schools for saving the little coupons on their products.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    I think having both books and tablets is best for some subjects like history and science which are often neglected trying to get kids to pass those yearly tests. Kids can't mark up their textbooks but I couldn't imagine going through some college classes without highlighting in a book during a lecture or having diagrams and notes to refer to for science or a&p. Many of the printout worksheets my gkids bring home as homework are poorly done and have mistakes. The internet would be the same imo.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Our schools don't even have enough textbooks to go around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Penn's woods
    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    I certainly see the advantages of updating information so soon after events occur.

    But one look at today's TV news should remind us how easily speed of info can replace substance and careful contemplation of historical events.
    I recently read a book by Neil Postman called Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology.

    I didn't entirely agree with a lot of his predictions in this book (it was published in '92 or '93) but I was reminded of something he said in his book by your post Nova.

    He talked about the glut of information that will be made available when technology takes hold (and it has) and that we need to create a paradigm in which to evaluate the quality of information that is distributed.

    I didn't agree with most of his book because he insinuates a censorship of sorts is what is needed for the future (the future he refers to is now).

    I'm all for integrating technology into education in any way possible as long as it it beneficial for the students. But you make a valid point about the loss of substance and sometimes accuracy when changes are made quickly.

    Good grief can you imagine if the writers that update these textbooks wrote like they do for MSM? yikes!

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