The Instigator
shooterboss
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
MrCarroll
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

iPads should replace papers and books in schools.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
MrCarroll
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 16,049 times Debate No: 15890
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (5)

 

shooterboss

Pro

Here are a few agreements before the real initial round of this debate:
1. Vulgar language, slang, and intentional errors in spelling or grammar will not be acceptable.
2. The first round is used for agreement and definition purposes.
3. When sources are used, they are to be cited with web addresses or, in print sources, names of books and authors.
4. This is my first debate, so I wish to have "leeway" from my audience and opponent.

The definition of "iPad" in this debate is used loosely. iPad may also refer to any other brand of electronic device that can be used in place of stationery in schools.

I wish good luck to my opponent in this debate.
MrCarroll

Con

I accept the terms.

What you mean by "iPad" is essentially tablet computers on which books can be read digitally.
You must show that tablet computers–you can call them ipads–are superior to having regular printed books in schools and their libraries.

Good luck, mate.
Debate Round No. 1
shooterboss

Pro

In my many years of attending school, I have always found it much more convenient to read eBooks instead of paper books, to type essays rather than write them by hand, and to not have to carry heavy stacks of textbooks around.

Technology makes schoolwork, as well as office work, easier for two main reasons: convenience and cheapness.

We all have done it in our lifetimes. We have forgotten folders, lost documents, and misplaced stationery every once in a while. An amazing advantage of computers is that they compress large amounts of information into small sizes. Some computer disks and flash drives can store entire volumes of Shakespeare's works within a couple inches. World Book Encyclopedia is now available on the Internet, when before it was available in large books at the library. iPads don't require pencils, papers, books, or any other office supplies. Compressed information results in a lower chance of misplacing something and an easier time trying to find a specific document.

Furthermore, iPads are faster and more productive. The average typing speed of a regular human is around 25 words per minute. Many professional computer users type up to 50 words per minute, and others can type even faster. At such speeds, lessons go by faster and more content can fit into one school semester.

Additionally, iPads fit well within the budget of many schools. Digital copies of textbooks are much easier to access and are much more affordable to purchase than print copies. Backpacks and lockers would be rendered obsolete. iPads also save trees, as they cut down on waste products from paper.

In conclusion, iPads are the ideal system of organization in schools and offices. They are convenient, in which much information is stored in small sizes and kept together in one place, and cheap, as digital information is now becoming more affordable than print. As evolution continues to rock the modern world, digital devices will become more and more reliable. Someday, they will entirely replace print books, and hopefully, that day will come soon.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
MrCarroll

Con

Firstly, I would like to express my anger in losing a very long-written argument by clicking one stupid button. Okay, let's try this again.

After researching the subject, I am beginning to see that this debate is a bit unspecific. Firstly, much of the current controversy has been about replacing textbooks in schools, and not necessarily all books as your title suggests. Also Pro didn't specify whether this applied to college, high school, or all schools. I will have to assume we are discussing all schools.

A. Convenience
Pro first gives reasons that the iPad is convenient, hence he prefers it to non-digital supplies. The iPad has previously been used at the college level with mixed feelings from the students. I would like to point out that not everyone shares his preference of the iPad or finds it convenient. In fact, in a study it was found that 75% of college students preferred traditional textbooks in which students can highlight and write notes. [1] Girls especially were found not to prefer textbooks... I'm not sure what that means.

B. Cheapness
Pro suggests that it is cheaper to invest in iPads than textbooks. In a 2008 study of public schools in Kentucky it was estimated that the cost of textbooks and supplies totaled around $44 million. The cost per school was around $988 for textbooks and supplies.[2] That is less than the cost of two iPads which I believe start at $499. To provide iPads to all the students in that school, in that state, or even in the country would be an enormous sum. And what happens if a student damages their device? Is the student's parents required to pay $500 for a new one? Which brings me to my next point, the inconveniences of the iPad.

1. Durability
The main difference between an iPad and a textbook that Apple and other companies cannot avoid is the event of dropping the device. I drop my textbook often and at worst a page is bent. I then promptly flatten it out. If I run into that kid who can't decide if he's going to the left or right and my iPad is knocked from my hands, the screen is broken to bits. Or consider if someone has a less reliable tablet other than a Mac and it crashes–it is a computer after all. Each case requires a hefty sum either from the student, the parents, or the school.

2. Digital Books
Consider the differences of stealing a printed book and a digital book. A digital book can be stolen much easier and with little or no consequences as demonstrated by the music industry. After computers came along, stealing music became as easy as pressing a button. If books are digitalized, online piracy is a real possibility. This is not in the best interest of many book writers and publishers.

3. Libraries
You suggest that iPads will someday entirely replace books. This would render public and school libraries useless. A digital library would make no sense–why would any book be bought if it could simply be downloaded off the library for free? Since this doesn't work, libraries would have no purpose. Thus, books could no longer be borrowed for free. Each book would have to be purchased unless it is public domain. It follows that many resources will be more expensive for students who need to do research.

Lastly, Pro mentions saving trees. The beautiful thing about trees is that they grow again.

We may conclude that while the iPad has its purposes, it should not replace the printed books used in schools. We can also be sure that the printed book will retain its importance in society despite the benefits of the iPad.

[1] http://www.mediabistro.com...
[2] http://finance.ky.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
shooterboss

Pro

My apologies for an unspecific debate. Again, this is my first debate, so please forgive me for any mistakes.

My opponent has recently suggested the following points:
1. According to a source, a study found that 75% of college students prefer print books over eBooks.
2. When media becomes digital, it will boost the possibility of copyright infringement (stealing).
3. iPads tend to break easily, and replacing them can be expensive.
4. iPads are expensive in general.
5. Libraries still serve their advantages.

The source about college students' preference of print books does not specify the exact reason why some college students feel that way. Nonetheless, the source suggested students enjoy the "look and feel" of print. However, what will they say several years ahead of now? Record players were once common, and today, some people still prefer them over CDs simply because they enjoy their "look and feel". Also, 12% of college students said they prefer eBooks because of convenience and cheapness. Someday, print books will be what most record players are now: antiques.

Second, the risk of stealing is higher in digital media, but many books rare already available online. Although companies might not enjoy hackers infringing their copyrights, the also mighty not enjoy a decrease in customer demand due to no support for electronic copies.

Furthermore, not all schools specifically need iPads for schoolwork. Let's imagine this scenario: Sony develops a device specifically designed for student use. Unlike iPads, this device does not include an App Store, a Map function, and a Weather reporter. Rather, it includes school-related applications such as note taking, schedules, to-do lists, etc. Such a device might not require a large color display, but rather a durable, cheap, and energy effective LED display. Many Kindle eBook readers cost less than $125.

Although crashes, malfunctions, and data loss may happen, schools using computers have for many years taught their students to "back up" their data on flash drives or disks.

A common feature on many eBook stores is a trial copy, which is an abridged sample of a book available for free. I disagree with my opponent that libraries will never become obsolete. Many video stores, such as Blockbuster, are already closing down in response to online video rental companies, such as Netflix and Redbox. Why not books?

As evolution grows, it impresses us more and more each day. Amazing feats, such as flying and instant long-distance communication, once thought to be impossible, were proved possible with technology. One day, print books will end up in antique shops, replaced by the durable, fast, and convenient eBook readers.
MrCarroll

Con

Firstly, I would like to thank Pro for putting this debate up. It's not bad at all for a first debate, quite good rather, but I am confident that after the voters finish reading my final arguments the winner will be clear.

1. I have another source on a similar study that suggests that, instead of iPads, students prefer textbooks that they can "mark up and highlight to aid in studying."[1] The main point here is that students prefer textbooks, thus, since Pro cannot refute this, iPads should not replace textbooks in schools. Also, Pro believes print books will become nothing more than antiques, but this is unsubstantiated and probably false.

2. Pro concedes that "the risk of stealing is higher in digital media." The reason it is not currently prevalent is due to the fact that the demand for eBooks is low. Once eBooks are widely purchased, we will likely see a similar case to that of the music industry.

3. IPads tend to break easily. The fact that I can drop a book from a building and it’s still readable while an iPad would be crushed to pieces is a fact that Apple or any other company cannot escape. Pro has no answer to this, and Pro argues that these devices should be distributed to youths. Until an unbreakable iPad is created, schools should certainly not invest in them in the way proposed.

4. Pro points out that the devices need not be iPads nor particularly expensive. Pro proposes a reader specifically designed for schools, however, there is no such device currently that fits this description.

5. “A common feature on many eBook stores is a trial copy, which is an abridged sample of a book available for free.” Personally, I do not want an abridged version of select books to complete my research. This is not an alternative to borrowing books. The example of video stores is irrelevant, as video rental stores are not libraries.

6. Blind people cannot use iPads.

Pro contends that books will “end up in antique shops.” I don’t think there is any evidence for this claim. While iPads and the like certainly are useful, they cannot replace the printed book. Books have existed for thousands of years; they are the simplest and most reliable devices for reading. It is not as if we are replacing cassettes which were only around for a short time. An over-reliance on technology can be dangerous as well. I am not against iPads–they are brilliant devices–but they should be seen as simply a different way to read, not the only way to read.

I think from all the arguments I have presented, it is safe to conclude that iPads should not replace books in schools.

Thank you, that is all I have.

[1] http://www.risoprinter.com...

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by brainiac444 3 years ago
brainiac444
I really like this debate, some debates are just frivolous!
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
Con misread the Kentucky Study. The cost was for college students, and it was about $900 per *student* annually, not per *institution*. Whoever wrote the Study should not have passed English. The paragraph below the table makes it clear. e-readers are much cheaper.

Ah, but Pro didn't pick up the error, so is it fair for me to use the error in judging the debate? Tough one, but I'll say it is, because Pro's claim was correct and Con accidentally misused the source, so the claim was not refuted. But Pro should have immediately recognized the number was bogus --waaay too low--- and read the reference.

Good topic and good effort from both sides.
Posted by shooterboss 3 years ago
shooterboss
I would like to congratulate my opponent on such a wonderful debate. For next time though, I will probably make the voting period shorter.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
shooterbossMrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con misread the Kentucky Study. The cost was for college students, and it was about $900 per student annually. e-readers are much cheaper. Ah, but Pro didn't pick up the error, so is it fair for me to usethe error in judging the debate? Tough one, but I'll say it is, because Pro's claim was correct and Con accidentally misused the source, so the claim was not refuted.
Vote Placed by kohai 3 years ago
kohai
shooterbossMrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins on the possibility of destruction, because pro only says that they can be backed up. Also, all pro arguments were defeated by con.
Vote Placed by anarcholibertyman 3 years ago
anarcholibertyman
shooterbossMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were shot down by Con and Pro never backed them up. Everything else seemed tied though.
Vote Placed by DylanAsdale 3 years ago
DylanAsdale
shooterbossMrCarrollTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Oh dear. Simply seeing the title of this debate almost made me want to vomit. Anyway, on to the debate analysis. I completely agreed with Con before and after the debate. Conduct and spelling/grammar were tied. I believe Con made better arguments, but it is entirely possible that could be a biased opinion. I voted in favor of Con on sources as soon as Pro used Wikipedia. Sorry.
Vote Placed by boredinclass 3 years ago
boredinclass
shooterbossMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con wins on the possibility of destruction, because pro only says that they can be backed up. Also, all pro arguments were defeated by con.