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tablets(pro) vs textbooks(con) for school

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,540 times Debate No: 70640
Debate Rounds (3)
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Handheld technological devices including tablets are associated with a range of health problems. Handhelds contribute to Computer Vision Syndrome, which causes eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes, according to the 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.

Using tablets is more expensive than using print textbooks. Implementing tablets in K-12 schools requires purchasing hardware (the tablet) and software (the textbooks), building new wi-fi infrastructure, and training teachers and administrators how to use the technology. Implementation costs for e-textbooks on iPad tablets are 552% higher than new print textbooks in an average high school. Lee Wilson, a prominent education marketing expert, estimated the annual cost per student per class with tablets to be $71.55 vs. $14.26 for print textbooks.

Tablets have too many distractions for classroom use. Students may pay attention to apps, email, games, and websites instead of their teachers. 87% of K-12 teachers believe that "today"s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans." Four-fifths of students aged 8 - 18 multitask while using digital media.

People who read print text comprehend more, remember more, and learn more than those who read digital text. The brain interprets printed and digital text in different ways, and people generally read digital text 20-30% slower than print. According to Pulitzer Prize winning technology writer Nicholas Carr, peer-reviewed studies show that reading hyper-linked text may increase the brain's "cognitive load," lowering the ability to process, store, and retain information, or "translate the new material into conceptual knowledge."

Many students do not have sufficient home internet bandwidth to use tablets. Students "need home broadband to access digital content and to complete Internet based homework," according to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, but about a third of Americans " 100 million people " do not have broadband internet at home. A 2010 FCC survey found that nearly 80% of K-12 schools reported broadband connections that were "inadequate to meet their current needs.
My resoures are...


The benefits of tablets in schools: Extending learning iPads and other mobile devices are extending learning beyond the classroom walls by moving with the student from the classroom, to the library to the home. This provides the flexibility and opportunity to continue learning where and when the student chooses. A vast library of resources With thousands of apps, students and teachers have instant access to a wealth of information from experts in their fields. For example, Khan Academy has a variety of high quality lecturers on a range of curriculum subjects and the Encyclopdedia Britannica app allows you to explore an array of knowledge in an easy to use digital format. Reducing printed material and books iPads are being used to reduce the need for heavy textbooks and the production of reams of printed material. Digital content can be updated continuously and has the ability to include hyperlinks and videos. It can also potentially offer financial savings on textbooks and materials. Improving STEM skills The use of apps and gaming techniques in the classroom can aid understanding of complex concepts and the development of science, technology, engineering and maths skills (STEM). According to the Department for Education, two of the largest studies in the UK looking at ICT’s impact on attainment have found there are statistically significant positive relationships between the use of ICT and achievement in these core areas. Engaging the hard to reach Technology is seen as increasing students’ confidence and motivation by making school work more enjoyable. A student’s attitude and involvement in learning changes as it is considered as fun and not regular education. Preparing students for the workplace The ability to confidently use technology in the 21st century is a necessary skill in most workplaces. Using digital tools on a daily basis in schools will further develop the learners’ abilities to use the technology they are likely to encounter in their future careers.

Debate Round No. 1


Good job but the website does not work but here is my argument...

"How can teachers trust their students to actually do the work in class and not play games instead? Because to be honest I would play games to because it is so tempting."
Write a ReplyReplies
"Switching to the program has had no effect on student achievement in many schools that have attempted the program. according to Liverpool, New York, "The students at Liverpool High have used their school-issued laptops to exchange answers on tests, download pornography and hack into local businesses." that is definitely not classwork"
"Clark asserted that media do not differentially support learning but that instructional methods are the true agents affecting learning. Several research studies and meta analyses have supported his position. So, efficiencies can be expected from tablet use (e.g., faster updating), but student will not learn better using them unless they are used in an effective instructional strategy--which is also true of textbooks. So, bottom line, tablets cannot be expected to improve student performance by themselves."

""People at my school play on their IPod's even if it isn't allowed at school. If i was a teacher I would have a really hard time trusting my students, because all they would do is play their games, even with the huge consequences if they get caught."

"If we used computers in class you all would be idiots because you wouldn't know anything because all you did was play games"

"I AM a 16 year old kid. I DO all that stuff i get on whatever I want and don't pay attention. You'd think I'd be all for tablets so I don't have to listen, but thats not the case. I never listen. I dont learn. And its probably gonna hurt me in the long run."

"Textbooks are better because people will get stronger from carrying it all the time. People in the old days got stronger because they were not always on the computer all the time because there was no such thing as computers so I think that it was better back then."

Do you like tablets more than textbooks? If so why?


I thank you for this debate once more my esteemed opponett.
I like tablets more than textbooks for 3 reasons:
1. They are lighter and easier to carry to lockers and carry through the halls than textbooks
2. They can do more than textbooks can to teach students
3. They are more advanced for an advanced age.

I give you from another reputable source, 6 reasons for tablets rather than textbooks
1. Tablets Are the Best Way to Show Textbooks; data-url="">
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Tablets are cable of offering enhanced ebooks featuring images, video and audio. These elements are impossible to include in print or in a standard ebook. Read about music? No thanks, I'll follow my auto-advancing sheet music as the audio plays. See a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. as I read his "I Have a Dream" speech? I guess that's fine, but with one tap of my finger, I'm watching it. The result is a more integrated learning experience, which is more engaging for students. This isn't the future — this is today.

By allowing students to highlight text, take notes in the margin and access a dictionary directly within the book itself, tablets are matching (and in some cases, surpassing) everything that a traditional book — print or digital — can offer.

2. Classrooms Are Ready for Tablets

Though tablets are a recent phenomenon, many students in high school and college have been using smartphones for years, and are already well-acquainted with touchscreen technology. Because they’ve become so accustomed to using these devices, students are increasingly expecting to use them in the classroom setting. When classrooms don't implement what has now become "everyday" technology, we’re doing students a disservice.

Additionally, students — and consumers in general — are becoming more comfortable using tablets for advanced tasks. According to a new Nielsen survey, 35% of tablet owners said they used their desktop computers less often or not at all now, and 32% of laptop users said the same. Most tellingly, more than 75% of tablet owners said they used their tablet for tasks they once used their desktop or laptop for. While tablets can’t totally match laptops in terms of functionally (yet), they can get today’s students most of the way there.

3. Tablets Fit Students' Lifestyles

The appeal of tablets to a college student is obvious: They’re thin, lightweight, and spring to life without delay, making them much easier to take to (and use in) class than a laptop or netbook. Longer battery life means that students don’t have to worry about carrying a charger with them. Forgot what the professor said at the end of class about the mid-term? Launch Tegrity, tap the lecture and replay it in just seconds. That's faster than texting a half-dozen classmates and waiting for what might be an inaccurate response.

4. Tablets Have the Software to Be Competitive; data-url="">
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Some of the most innovative software around is being developed specifically for tablets. In addition to the thousands of exciting educational apps available, tablets are fully compatible with online teaching and learning platforms, such as Blackboard, which are becoming the norm at colleges and universities. In fact, tablets’ current shortcoming — limited multitasking — could be their greatest asset in education, as it forces students to focus on one task at a time.

5. Tablets Integrate With Education IT Trends

Cloud-based solutions have become ever more popular with colleges and universities, which are looking to deliver synchronized experiences that are device agnostic. Tablets align well with this trend, given their portability and options for constant connectivity. With tablets and cloud-based systems, students can work anywhere on campus and make sure that their work is saved in a central location and accessible from all of their devices. They also don’t have to pay for computing power that they no longer need.

6. Tablets Are Becoming More Available

One of the primary reasons that tablets have been slow to penetrate the higher education market was their limited availability. Apple’s supply chain issues and the difficulty that some Android tablet manufacturers have faced in getting their products to market have made it difficult for schools to get serious about adopting. As these issues are resolved over the coming year, expect to see more and more tablets popping up on campuses.

Lower price points will make tablets even more appealing to colleges and universities. For close to a year, Apple went virtually unchallenged in the tablet market. Increased competition should drive down prices. The wave of tablets introduced at CES in January is just the tip of the iceberg. With dozens to hundreds of offerings, many based on Google's open source Android OS, expect price points to fall quickly just as they have for laptops, smartphones and HDTV sets. Heck, Apple's original iPad can be had for as little as $349 if you get the timing right and don't mind a refurb.


Debate Round No. 2


wow nice job im going to do my argument now...

"I AM a 16 year old kid. I DO all that stuff i get on whatever I want and don't pay attention. You'd think I'd be all for tablets so I don't have to listen, but thats not the case. I never listen. I dont learn. And its probably gonna hurt me in the long run."

"videos spoon feed on information, while pictures take a lot of cognitive thought to understand. even though it would be hard at first, if you learn it from a picture, you will understand it more fully."

"think you have great reasons, everyone on this side and the other one but really the tablets need to be the one's seen in classes!"

"If a student breaks a tablet, it could take a while for a technician to fix it. It also takes a lot of money to fix a bunch of kid's tablets. Also, some students take advantage of tablets and play games during class. A lot of student learn better by reading things out of a book, so if we take books away and use tablets then those students can not learn the way that is good for them."

"I'm not happy about the costs involved with our district going digital. Each student will be given a tablet/laptop device. Grades 4-12 will take them home each night. In the contract we are "required" to sign, it states that the parents are responsible for the cost of the device is damaged. The device they purchased will cost us up to $600 if damaged, according to the district. I have three kids still in the public system.
When questioned about the eye strain, headaches that may occur, the district's response is "that's a valid question", but gives not answers.
The kids that have to take home the devices will be targets for theft. It was announced in the local paper that every student will be taking home their device (4-12). There are plenty of people in our area that will take advantage of that and I believe backpacks will be stolen off of kids backs.
I know my kid tosses his backpack and I've seen plenty of others at the school do the same.
I'm all for technology in the classroom. I don't believe they should take them home. I believe that technology should be used as a supplemental tool and not the main device for learning or teaching."


Thank you so much for this debate :)! It has been awesome, let me close with this from a reputable source, my friend :).

There are thousands of educational apps vying for the attention of teachers and pupils. Here are just some examples that are proving popular with iPad users in the classroom:

The Poetry App
Listen to poems by Eliot, Larkin, Frost, Plath and a dozen others read by well known performers. Also allows pupils to write, record and share their own poems.

A seamless and fully searchable digital Ordnance Survey (OS) map of Great Britain. Historical OS maps can also be viewed, enabling pupils to see how landscapes have changed over the past 120 years.

The Elements: A Visual Exploration
A “living” version of the periodic table. Pupils can view more than 500 rotatable 3D images of the elements, together with a huge amount of detailed information. Described by Stephen Fry as, “Alone worth the price of an iPad!”

Allows teachers to assign, collect and review pupils’ work, then provide detailed feedback, either individually or collectively, using annotations, text notes and voice notes directly on to pupils’ documents.

And also, Tablets only take 4 weeks to repair on average, and if the school has enough money like mine does, then you can get a loaner tablet easily.

thank you so much for this debate, my friend, we had a good debate didn't we? We had a good debate, and lets see who wins :). I enjoyed this immensly, we should debate again sometime.

Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Victor_Matencio 1 year ago
I am trying to create a company who will reduce the cost of the textbook for the parents, please help me help you with filling the following survey:

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