Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The pros and Cons of Replacing School Textbooks with Individual Student laptops.

Discuss the pros and cons of replacing school texbooks with individual student laptops.
There are many key issues to consider while evaluating the pros and cons of replacing school textbooks with individual student laptops. Some of the issues range from costs, the portability, and the ease of use (whether it is really possible to look at a laptop screen for too long). But the most important is whether the students can learn well.
Students who own many books will not require too much space to store their books as they will have everything saved in a small handheld device. Students and learning institutions will not need a library or a room for textbooks. This also means that the student will have a backup online just in case something happens to their books. With laptops, students can keep several electronic books which they can refer to them any time as opposed to carrying several textbooks. They can carry a whole library of books saved in the laptop without worrying about their weight
With laptops, it is possible to quickly and cheaply replace outdated or wrong information, as opposed to ordinary textbooks. Students can also store new eBooks fast, since when you buy a book online, you get it instantly as opposed to when you order a book. It takes time to deliver. Often, one can also find free eBooks online, whereas physical books almost always cost something.
Replacing textbooks with laptops will increase computer literacy level among the students. This is because, computers becomes second nature to students as they have constant access to the computer, this is important in job market. Giving students an expensive piece of equipment such as a laptop encourages responsibility for the equipment. This too will make them more responsible as they grow. Laptops also present concepts in multimedia form, making them more readable and easy to grasp. They can be interactive and contain audio, video and animations, which can enhance the message that the author is trying to convey. Some texts offer students the ability to highlight and add footnotes while studying, which helps them lessen the strain during revision. Information stored in a laptop is searchable; hence students can easily search for any information in an eBook, instead of turning page after page.
The idea of replacing school textbooks with individual student laptops has a few cons as well. Laptops themselves are expensive to acquire and maintain. Breakage can cause students to lose time on their assignments and projects. It is also not enough to just acquire a laptop, replacing completely with textbooks will need one to have a good connection to the Internet, preferably a wireless one. Also, for laptops to run, it requires many programs which must be compatible. However, with the many operating systems that are available and computer devices, not all programs are compatible with every computer. With easier access to the Internet, plagiarism is a greater temptation. Students may be preoccupied and get off task more easily and could choose to use other people’s work.
In conclusion, laptops can enhance overall student learning. Consistently using computers can make learning more collaborative and more efficient.  Acquiring laptops and digital textbooks may be a huge step to take, but it is worth taking.