Textbooks or Tablets in School?

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(By Marie Miguel) There is a huge debate going on in schools all across the country. It is not about violence, bullying, drugs, or similar issues. The debate is whether schools should continue using text books or switch to using computer tablets. There are many good arguments on both sides, but the fact is, schools are doing it anyway, regardless of what the parents want. Of course, you have the choice whether to sign the paper saying it is alright for your child to use a tablet and be on the internet. However, if you do not sign that paper, your child will not get the same education as the rest of the class. The world has gone digital and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it.

The Pros and Cons of Tablets in School

Here are some of the pros and cons of tablets in the classroom:


  • According to the United States Department of Education, students learn 30-80% faster with tablets.
  • A tablet can hold hundreds of books on one device as well as homework, files, and communication with the teachers. This means no more heavy backpacks or lost books.
  • E-books are up to 60% cheaper than printed books.
  • Children scored 30% higher on tests using a tablet rather than a textbook.
  • Tablets have interactive features that textbooks do not have such as a search function, highlighters, and a built-in dictionary and thesaurus.
  • Learning technology skills are important for their future.
  • Tablets can be automatically updated.
  • Students and schools save money on paper, pencils, and other items that tablets do not need.
  • Files on the tablet can be transferred to other electronic devices and portable data recorders. That means no more lost homework.
  • Students enjoy learning on tablets more than with textbooks so they learn more.


  • There are medical consequences with using tablets such as neck pain, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and eye strain.
  • Textbooks are five times cheaper than tablets, including training teachers and buying software.
  • Tablets have a lot of distractions such as games, email, apps, and other websites the children can get onto instead of doing their work or listening to the teacher.
  • The brain is able to comprehend more when reading printed text rather than digital text. In fact, on average, people read digital text up to 30% slower than printed text.
  • Many students do not have (or cannot afford) sufficient internet service to use their tablets at home. That means homework is not going to get done.
  • Repairing a tablet costs a great deal more than fixing a book.
  • Textbooks do not get malware, spyware, freeze, crash, and cannot get hacked.
  • Tablets need to be charged and cannot last a whole school day.
  • Students are able to cheat or use shortcuts to do their schoolwork.
  • Some textbooks are still not available in digital format.

Time for a Solution

Many parents just do not want their children to use the internet. Some have never had the opportunity to experience the technological advances that are available to their children or they just do not understand. These feelings of inadequacy can make parents angry and ill-equipped to make a good decision for their children. Other parents are computer savvy but do not think their child is ready for the internet. It is important for these parents to have someone to talk to that understands these issues and can help them realize the benefits of letting their children learn computer skills. There are licensed professionals that parents and their children can talk to or chat with online or over the phone. Together they may be able to come to some kind of compromise that works out well for everyone.

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  1. Blackboard cause they too miserable and when they leave School all they do is sell their souls to the devil..killing one annother.give it to them the hard way .like i had it.but i did not not sell my soul.the dont appreciate ?

  2. Let their parents go out there and work to provide their children..they are too idle. all they do is to go on Facebook and post nonsense.rund their mouth uselessly grown people behaving like kids..thats why their kids are all going astray..killing every one criticizing Allan and Slp..let them go dig baja..dry coconut. Cultivate lth land and go sell by market.they are to Idle..after they are so idle their kids are going astray right in the face and dont know.thats why the are going backward s.send them and get a life

    • Most elderlies are unfortunately useless to society now , So using the money on children and developing our human resource is more important than the elderly

      • “Most elderlies are unfortunately useless to society now.”

        You said that? You seriously said that?

  3. We cannot run away from the fact that this is where the world is headed. If we fail to move along we will get trampled upon. we need to find ways to boost the economy so we can catch up keep up and possibly get ahead…

  4. some children just would not read a book but give them a tablet to read something they will read it. So let’s make it more exciting for them to learn.and having a tablet it would last more than a year hopefully unlike the text book it just for one year and sometimes they children never the uses the books at school and waist of money.i say issa a tablet.

  5. I totally disagree to the use of electronics in school. The children get so hooked to these gadgets. They’ve come to depend on it only. Children don’t know how to learn to spell words. They say the word and the it gives the word. Creating a world of dull uneducated children. Do we want that for our kids. This will also create a form of laziness in the state which may result to a high level of obesity thus increasing the rate of diabetes. Let our children explore, research, socialize, use their mental ability to create things. I smell and antisocial world as it may have become. Just my opinion.

  6. School is a business between governments and print factories…thats wht every year they changing over books…a cut for a cut.

  7. I spoke about electronics when laptops were first initiated in school. I said soon we parents will wake up to the day when we will be slapped in the face with our children’s book list
    Such as:
    1. 1 laptop upgraded with latest software
    2. A4 size blank sheets (white / colored)
    3. 1 all 4 in one printer unless upgraded
    4. 1 tablet
    5. Ink
    6. Mobile phone.
    7. Facilities fee towards internet services at school.
    8. Cartoons of Bristol board sheets A4 size ( white/ colored)
    9. Internet service in each and every house regardless of the socio economic status of the family
    10. Miscellaneous
    11. And the list goes on. Would it be cheaper than the books?
    Aa I almost forgot the chip to insert in the wrist to get access to the internet.
    Se pa blague. In the last days knowledge shall increase. It is surely increasing. I say No. But prophesy is rapidly fulfilling. It shall come to past. Have mercy Lord.

  8. laptops, mac books, chrome books, tablets, any is good. Smart boards in all classrooms should be considered also.

  9. Smart Child…….you are no So Smart as you say you are..how many elderly people did year kill any one this year?.So the money. Will be better spend by helping out the eldery..useless spend in money on 3rd world kids.too dam disgusting.

  10. A few years ago (2015 to be exact) I “predicted” to a family member that pretty soon, tablets will be the norm in schools, globally – and I give it about 5 – 10 years for this to be a reality. Lo and behold!! That same week, I read about tablets being implemented in certain schools in California, USA – with a complete curriculum, but which was processed by a special CPU sanctioned by the US Board of Education, in the California state, where students were given their subjects, and returned to the appropriate class teacher. This was made possible by the Apple/Mac computer company. Needless to say I was stymied by this turn of events – so soon!!!

    The writer of this article claims that “Tablets have a lot of distractions such as games, email, apps, and other websites the children can get onto instead of doing their work or listening to the teacher.” This event can be controlled by whoever is responsible for installing the curriculum of the school into the tablet. What the Apple/Mac computer company did was to install only TWO games for the students, so they can “chill out” while doing their subjects, homework, projects, etc.

    Needless to say the world is in the digital age. Already universities in most parts of the globe are tablet and laptop savvy!! These “gadgets” already form part of their requirements in order to do their schoool work.

    Now, most business places use tablets: restaurants, stores, and other service oriented businesses use this instead of having to write, and store huge amounts of paper. Once one understands, and gets the world we live in now – they have no choice but to accept the “intrusion” of the tablet. The same was said eons ago, about film, vinyl records, and television!!! So – to the “nay-sayers”, I say “Get with the programme!!”

  11. Good presentation.

    My Take as a teacher who gives permission to BYOD for specific lessons:

    It should be optional. The unpredictability of modern technology is a major inhibitor.

    At present, with only or just computers in school, we have frequent internet crashes, and the backup plan is usually, back to the basics or resort to grouping students to use fewer machines, a strategy which does not accomplish exactly what was desired. Imagine what it would be like, with all students using tablets. Even without the internet issue, just like our smart phones, these things freeze up in the middle of the lesson. What frustration! Try moving on with a lesson, when a student is more focussed on how everyone else’s tablet is working, except his or hers.

    I have experienced the benefits and disadvantages of both. These are complementary modes. Neither is stand alone solution to any educational problem.

    Right there in the primary school, you teach students to collaborate online. When you are monitoring, you notice that rather than collaborating, they (students) are using the chat features of the collaboration tool to bully each other or just to say ‘dumb shit’. A whole new world of discipline issues arises.

    There are teachers who use the technologies in the classroom but the ministry gave devices to teachers who do not know what to do with them. The government is way behind some schools and some teachers. But I digress.

  12. Bring back blackboard. .and give the money to the elderly. .it will be better spend..those kids now a days dont deserve these goodies.they are misserable, rude, disrespectful, the walk the streets half naked..tattoo all over their body.a reck.

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