At this day in age, electronics become more and more common in everyday lives. Computers, televisions and other electronic devices do the jobs faster and more efficiently than human labor could accomplish and, of course, are now staples in the entertainment industry. With the development of e-readers, like the Kindle, technology has even threatened the use of books, newspapers and other forms of printed text.
Books seem to have lost their luster after these devices hit the mainstream market and became the most popular alternative to going to the bookstore to buy a physical book. E-readers give users the convenience of not having to go to the bookstore to get a book; they can get a new novel from the comfort of their couch. They are also more efficient to produce than books. The new Kindle is lighter than a paperback book and thinner than a magazine. This adds portability to the list of pros about e-readers and it makes it so that companies don’t have to print thousands of books; users download all of the books virtually, which saves paper and money. The average book on the Kindle costs around $10. This saves readers money by offering books at a cheaper price, while allowing them to keep the book forever, since it doesn’t wear down like normal books.
My question is, why don’t schools take advantage of this new technology? E-readers are fairly expensive, but they would save the school money by keeping them from having to buy new textbooks when the old ones break down. If every student had an e-reader, the school wouldn’t have to buy textbooks for every department; they would just have to download them to all of the e-readers. Even if all of the students had a laptop, the idea would still work. Just load the textbooks onto the computer like you can with the Amazon Kindle technology. This would also be useful because the students could have all of their work in a convenient location and the teachers wouldn’t have to deal with papers piling up on their desks.
Also, issuing e-readers or laptops with e-reading capabilities would encourage reading more outside of school in addition to giving them all of their textbooks or English novels in a convenient, portable device. This would serve a similar purpose as just mentioned, by giving students the convenience to give them access to school materials more easily and possibly encourage them to do more homework or study more often. Studying could be made much easier if you didn’t have to carry multiple textbooks that weigh much more than your average novel. If this was made more convenient, students might choose to study when they might not necessarily have chosen to before.
This idea is already a reality for some schools who issue laptops or other devices to their students for school use, but it would be nice to see this become more common in high schools. It would not be easy to make the transition from textbooks to e-readers, but there are definitely advantages to be considered when thinking about this change.