E-Books or Textbooks?

January 20, 2015


Technology is a pervasive force that is gaining momentum as individuals recognize the versatility and efficiency of technological devices; even in schools, textbooks are gradually becoming replaced by electronic textbooks that can be accessed on tablets.

However, change certainly isn’t always something that we should blindly follow. Although these electronic textbooks may ostensibly seem to be advantageous, they also propose numerous detrimental disadvantages that outweigh the benefits.

Some individuals argue that tablets are preferable educational resources due to the physical advantages that they offer. They claim that since hardcopies of textbooks are much heavier than tablets, the heavy weight can hinder the growth of adolescents who carry textbooks in their backpacks daily.

However, they fail to address the plethora of health concerns that are associated with these handheld devices. According the American Optometric Association, when individuals view electronic screens for extensive periods of time, they experience fatigue, eye discomfort, headaches, and blurred vision.

These symptoms caused by electronic textbooks on tablets can hinder the students’ abilities to learn and to focus on educational material in classroom environments. Is carrying a heavy textbook between classes really an issue in comparison to the detrimental consequences that tablet-use can instigate in hindering learning?

While individuals may sustain that tablets offer more educational resources than textbooks do, this claim has flaws within it because the versatility of these technological devices can propose disadvantages as well. Tablets provide students with access to games, websites, and other applications that can distract them from education within the classroom setting.

The freedom and universality of the tablet compels students to hold their focus on distractions that do not correlate with their educational needs. Additionally, tablets offer students the opportunity to be academically dishonest by using online sources to cheat on their schoolwork.

In this technologically advanced age, it is far too easy for us to slip into the tide of change and to readily accept the countless new devices that are being created. However, we must remember that everything has a positive and negative side so that we can recognize when the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Electronic textbooks may appear to be the next big thing, but they propose numerous shortcomings that make the traditional, hardcopy textbooks the preferable option.


st0119-03-1 Hannah Park
Arnold O. Beckman High School 10th Grade

One Comment

  1. kelly

    November 27, 2017 at 1:27 PM

    yes..I like the basic concepts behind Second Life but it seems incredibly outdated and when I played it was intensely non-intuitive / user friendly to an extent that made EVE look like a game for toddlers. thanks from
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