Tablets VS. Textbooks

Abby Gallo and Pippa Harpster

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Technology is making a huge difference in this world, including taking over our school life. The question is, which is better, tablets or textbooks?   

A pro for using tablets in school is that it lowers the amount of paper used in a classroom each day. Did you know that a school that has 100 teachers uses about 250,000 pieces of paper? A school that has about 1,000 students will probably spend about 3,000 to 4,000 dollars on paper. Using tablets also saves money because teachers don’t have to purchase as much paper and neither do students’ parents. You may not think it, but paper costs a lot of money. So, using tablets would help save the environment as well as money.  

A con for using tablets in the classroom is that tablet’s screens can break very easily. Textbooks are sturdy, and yes, a student could rip or tear a page, but that is a minor thing. If a page is ripped, it is still usable. If a tablet is cracked, it really isn’t. A student could cut up their fingers, or chunks of the screen could end up falling out after continuous use. So clearly, not fixing the screen isn’t an option. But then the problem of cost arises, fixing a broken screen/tablet, in general, is not cheap. It can also be a lengthy process, lasting unknown amounts of time. That is an unreliable device for children to use. Children are typically careless with their devices, me included.  

A pro for the use of tablets is that they give kids experience with technology from a very young age. If kids know how to use tablets in kindergarten and younger, by the time they’re in high school they’ll basically be computer geniuses. If children learn most of their school topics from tablets and/or the internet, they will understand technology thoroughly. They will be able to use the internet effectively and safely. They would also be able to discern usable, correct information, from incorrect and unusable info. They could also go into technology careers and be very qualified.  

Another con about using tablets is that students can easily cheat. While doing an assignment or test, there is nothing stopping irresponsible children from looking up the answers online. For example, if they are doing a math problem on IXL or TenMarks and are too lazy to get out a piece of paper and do the math, they might open a new tab and type in 334 multiplied by 28 and easily get the answer. Also, unless the teacher is standing behind the student, who knows what the student is doing! Instead of writing their essay, they could be on YouTube or playing some online game! But if the student was doing work in the textbook, teachers can tell what work they did or didn’t do.   

So, as you can see, both textbooks and tablets have their pros and cons. The question is, which is better? Please leave your answer in the comment section below.