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Should Tablets Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools: Argumentative Essay

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With each passing year, school systems strive to become the best/top school in their district by developing new ways to help further educate young minds and improve overall testing scores. To achieve their goals, some schools have cut down on recess and increased classroom proactivity. Other schools just simply took out basic electives such as home EC and workshops and replaced them with more math classes and science classes. Then we have some schools where the newest technology such as tablets is the next best thing for teaching children. Even though finding the best solution for teaching our children better in school is always the best thing we can do for them. Bringing in tablets for children instead of textbooks may help them learn how to use technology better, but it will, in reality, decrease their chances of actually learning to their full content. I am against this and believe that tablets should not be allowed to become the primary way students learn.

Learning how to use the newest technology is always a useful way of adapting along with how our current century is leading into. Technology is something that is growing rapidly and is used a lot more frequently than ever before. It has improved the way we do things such as communicating with each other, searching for information has become a lot more accessible through the use of online, and even our transportation has evolved from the use of the Internet by creating things such as smart cars. But having things become a lot easier to obtain isn't always a good thing. Whenever someone needs to know the answer to things, they could simply look up their question on the Internet, whenever someone needs to know a math question, they could merely pull out their phone and have their answer right then and there. This ability has limited the way we think because our minds have become too dependent on technology. We can't always depend on things just because it is the easiest way out of something. To fully use our potential, we need to be able to know the answer, or at least know how to solve it without the use of technology. For example, if someone asks you what 9 x 6 is and you don’t have any form of a calculator on you, would you still be able to figure out the answer is 54? Or would you just not know the answer to it? Having tablets instead of textbooks in school for kids to use would limit the way they think. Yes, we should learn how to use them, but having them as a primary learning tool wouldn’t be the best thing for them to learn how to gain knowledge.

There are many negative impacts of replacing textbooks with tablets. For example, excessive use of the Internet is actually harmful to both children and adults. In the past decade, research has accumulated suggesting that excessive use of the Internet can lead to the development of behavioral addiction. Internet addiction has been considered a serious threat to mental health and excessive use of the Internet has been linked to a variety of negative psychosocial consequences. Clinical evidence suggests that Internet addicts experience several bio-psychosocial symptoms and consequences. These include symptoms traditionally associated with substance-related addictions, namely salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, conflict, and relapse” (Brain Sciences, ‘Internet and Gaming Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review of Neuroimaging Studies’).

Another example of why replacing textbooks with tablets is a bad thing is because it can cause health issues. Too much screen time can actually damage your eyes sight by having to strain your eyes due to the glare of the screen, which may cause blurred vision. According to American Optometric Association, people who use mobile devices more often have a higher incidence of musculoskeletal disorders associated with repetitive strain on muscles, including carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain ('text neck'), shoulder pain, and fibromyalgia.

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Some say this is the best thing because this replaces the cost of having to buy new textbooks. But tablets are actually a lot more expensive to purchase than it is a textbook. Because of new systems and software coming out for certain hardware, and all the training you would need to do to teach your teachers and administrations how to use them, plus with installing new Wi-Fi infrastructures, it would actually cost a lot more to purchase these things than it would a textbook. “All the sweet promises Apple is making are going to slam headfirst into the funding issue”. Lee Wilson, a management consultant for companies that serve K-12 education, states that “it will cost a school 552% more to implement iPad textbooks than it does to deploy books”. By factoring in all of the averaging costs per student per class (textbook = 14.26, e-text=$71.55), cost of print vs. software (print=$10.38, software=$15.24), cost of staff training on new software updates (textbooks = $1.88, e-text = $6.94), and even the amount of use sage of devices on a wireless network (which could lay somewhere in the $500 range just to install the number of access points needed to hand all of the incoming device outputs).

Aldo, the use of tablets can create short attention spans in young minds by all of the distractions that tablets bring to the table. Students may pay more attention to apps such as email, online games, and even social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Thus, making it harder for teachers to gain the attention they need to teach.

Then you have your homework assignments. Most Americans today don’t even have broadband connections. So, if most of a child’s learning comes from a tablet, and they’re part of that group that doesn’t have a connection to the Internet to do the homework that is needed for it, those certain students wouldn’t be able to meet their required needs to make it through school.

Considering all the above arguments, I believe that replacing textbooks with tablets in K-12 schools is not the right decision. Despite the rapid development of technologies and the fact that they have made our lives much easier, the consequences of such innovations can be negative. I still remain faithful to the traditional way of learning.

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Should Tablets Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools: Argumentative Essay. (2023, October 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“Should Tablets Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools: Argumentative Essay.” Edubirdie, 26 Oct. 2023,
Should Tablets Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools: Argumentative Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 5 Mar. 2024].
Should Tablets Replace Textbooks in K-12 Schools: Argumentative Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Oct 26 [cited 2024 Mar 5]. Available from:
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