Will Tablets Replace Textbooks Within Next Few Years?


Most schools have invested in personal tablets for each student in the school. These devices are used for many different reasons in the classroom. Students use their devices for educational purposes as well as free play.

Over the next 3-5 years, is it conceivable that tablets will replace textbooks? Absolutely, if it doesn’t happen that soon, schools are certainly moving toward that direction. Why wouldn’t they?

Are there reasons that we should keep the sacredness of paper textbooks? Or should we move full speed ahead into the digital age? Here are a few of the pros and cons of each side of the story.

Pros of Tablets Replacing Textbooks

There is no doubt that having personal devices in the classroom has been a wonderful educational tool. If tablets replace textbooks, here are some great things that will come out of it.

  • Reduce paper waste- no one can argue that textbooks use a lot of paper. Every few years, textbooks have to be revised. This leaves for a lot of books with no purpose. Going to eBooks is a great way to reduce paper waste.
  •  Built in dictionary- when a child is reading, they have the ability to look up words that they do not understand. This convenience factor will allow students to have access to outside information at the tip of their fingers.
  • Cut costs on education- there is a lot of cost involved in producing and shipping paper books. eBooks are instant and do not require the cost of shipping.
  •  More resources available- teachers can assign extra curricular books without worry. If a book is available in digital format, they can have the students pull it up in a minute.
  • Prepares students for college- many colleges have gone to paperless classrooms. Students will have to be used to technology in their college classes. Getting a good foundation of how to use these devices will help them acclimate to their classes better.

These are just a few of the things that are definite pluses for advocating tablets to replace textbooks.

Cons of Replacing Textbooks With Tablets

  • All of life is trade offs. Each side of the coin has a story. When it comes to replacing textbooks with tablets, there are some concerns.
  • Schools need proper bandwidth- a school can pass out as many devices as they like. However, they must have the capabilities to handle all of the tablets. This is a cost that a school must consider.
  •  Teachers must embrace the change- teachers have to get on board with the switch. There is likely going to be a bit of resistance for some educators.
  •  Not all textbooks come in digital format- it will take time to convert all necessary textbooks to a digital format. This will have to be a concerted effort by publishing companies as well as school boards to implement the changes.

Regardless of the cons, there is little reason to not replace textbooks with tablets. It will take a time of adjustment to implement the changes. At the end of the day, these changes will reduce waste and cost as well as increase learning opportunities.

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