The classrooms of America are at the start of a technological revolution. As technology advances, textbooks could be completely replaced by tablets. Textbooks are on the verge of extinction. Tablets are significantly lighter weight than textbooks, especially considering that tablets can store numerous textbooks. According to a study in Archives of Disease in Childhood, the average weight of a student’s backpack is 15.4 pounds (with 3-4 textbooks). The average weight of a tablet is between .75 and 2 pounds. Replacing textbooks with tablets can be very expensive. Wifi, software, and teaching teachers how to use them, along with purchasing the actual tablets starts to add up. Many schools and districts have already made the transition from textbooks to tablets. In his State of the Union address in 2011, President Obama stated, “I want all students to be able to learn from digital textbooks.” If all schools could, all schools would.
The only problem that seems to be a common factor is the cost. Money is an easy fix. Just a few fundraisers and a couple bake sales could help schools raise the money. It seems as though “new” technology becomes quickly outdated as new updated technologies are released. Technology is advancing faster than we can keep up with. As soon as schools would be settled in, a new tablet or technology would be out. Students are already surrounded by technology outside of school. It only makes sense to integrate technology into their education as well. Analysts have estimated that more than 33% of the United States will own a tablet by 2015. Although schools are making the switch, only 30% of textbooks are available electronically.
This makes it difficult for schools to replace textbooks when there isn’t a digital version available. Should tablets replace textbooks in K-12 schools. “It makes economic and ecological sense to replace textbooks in schools,” says Jeffco Educational Technology Specialist, Rose Foster. The world around us is advancing in technology more and more everyday. Textbooks have almost become “stone-age”, especially when compared to the rest of the world. Allowing students to learn on a tablet just opens so many opportunities. They have so many different resources at their fingertips. many students say they perform better when using computers and technology.