Tablets vs. Textbooks

Infographic created by Bernice Chen.
Infographic created by Bernice Chen.

With demands for iPads and other tablets to be used in school increasing, the world is swarming with debate about whether these interactive tools should be used for education or not. So, which exactly is better – the touch-screen tablets, or the old fashioned textbooks?

On one hand, devices are interactive and give a longer range of options varying from brightness to font size. This allows students to be able to adjust their tablets to fit their preferences, so that they will not feel uncomfortable reading from the device.

Also, tablets are also far lighter than textbooks, and just one device can replace a whole stack of books. They are easier to carry around, and ease the weight off of students’ backs and arms, relieving them of carrying a lot of heavy books around the school.

Tablets also help conserve the environment. Textbooks require an abundance of paper, and that paper comes at the cost of destroying mass amounts of trees. The more books we produce, the more trees we chop down, and, as trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen for us to breathe, this might prove unhealthy for us.

On the other hand, however, we have the option of keeping our traditional textbooks instead of using devices. For some students, reading from a book makes the words easier to remember. Some tablets make it hard to track the text that you are reading, and therefore you may get confused about it.

To add to the fact that tablets are worse for learning than textbooks, the information on the devices might not be reliable, because anybody can post anything on the web. Tablets can also make students lazy, because they make everything too easy to find, and diminishes the practice of finding pages or certain information by themselves.

Staring at a screen for too long is also not a good idea, but if you are using a device, the brightness of the screen, even if it’s very low, can affect your eyes in a negative manner.

Lastly, tablets are very expensive to buy, while textbooks are cheaper and usually given by schools for students to use. Besides costing a lot of money, they are very fragile and prone to breakage. If students are not careful with their devices, they could damage the tablets, and  would have to pay for new ones.

So what do you think? Should we switch to the interactive, light, and environment-conserving tablets and devices, or should we stick to the traditional, cheaper, and more memorable textbooks?