Books Have No Place in Schools…Can You Hand Me My iPad Please?
Some of you may think that the question I’m asking right now is utterly ridiculous. You may be thinking, “Of COURSE books still have a place in schools! How else will people learn if they don’t have access to books?!” First, let me point out that I am in no way saying that reading has no place in educational institutions, just books; hardcover, softcover, heavy, dead-tree versions of material that we can all get electronically.
Some of the worst memories that I have of my time in university contains my hatred toward the many, many, many books that I had to tote back and forth to class. Most of the classes had a curriculum that called for extensive reading each week…for each class. And I’m not talking about nice little novels, here. I’m talking about big, fat, heavy 978 page books. There were many times that I was sure that my books outweighed me. We often fought for balance, and my books usually won.
If I didn’t topple over on my way to class, I was sure to either have back spasms all night, or allot for an extra 15 minutes to get to class to account for all of the times that I’d have to stop walking, set my bag down, and curse at my books. (Well, I didn’t actually curse at them; that’s rude. I just made them feel really badly about themselves for causing me so much distress).
So, when I remember the discomfort that my books caused me while I was in school, those memories alone make me want to get rid of all hard-copy versions of books for the sake of future generations. But, there are more reasons why we need to begin looking at going paperless in our schools. There are so many reasons why we should begin using tablets, such as the iPad, within classrooms. Obviously, it is more economically friendly, but it also allows the students to engage in their studies more than the old-fashioned books do.
Take, for example, a chemistry experiment. Having a teacher/instructor/professor simply tell you what will happen if you combine 2 (possibly dangerous) materials together is alright, but it’s not as memorable as actually seeing it for yourself. Or, what about music class? A student may watch a short clip on fingering techniques for the piano or saxophone, which would be priceless for those of us who are visual learners. And we must not forget biology class. Do you remember those formaldehyde-filled classes where you had to dissect a frog, a rat, and/or a pig? Well, students would never have to be disgusted again because they could simply do a virtual dissection.
Just imagine having every possible advantage afforded to you through digital experimentation, as well as having immediate access to all of the classics that literature has to offer. No more lugging around text books, heavy novels, nor any other tool that a student may need to use in order to learn in the traditional manner. Using a tablet, such as the iPad or the Blackberry Playbook, would allow students to optimise their learning in a free and engaging way. And, let’s face it; the hardest part of trying to teach someone something is getting them to actively engage in the subject. What student wouldn’t want to use an iPad in school?
I think that, if we are truly moving into the digital age, we need to embrace the advances within the classroom first and begin utilising the technology that we have at our fingertips. It is also in the best interest of the students to give them every possible advantage within the classroom; they may have all that they need built into one simple device.
Besides, although I am a great lover of the written word, I would love those words even more if they weighed less and caused me less bodily harm. So, hand me my iPad please…
Filed under: College, Education, IT, Technology | 9 Comments
Tags: Apple, books, chemistry, classroom, e-reader, Education, experiments, I.T., iPad, Learning, school, teach, Technology, textbooks