—Alex Klahn, Staff Writer—
Recently, schools have started to convert from hand held textbooks to online textbooks. Schools are starting to become more and more reliant on computers and the internet. Is that a good thing or will this end up hurting the students? There are ups and downs to both versions of the textbooks, but which is more beneficial to the students?
Tablets and chromebooks for the most part are more practical than textbooks. Instead of having to lug around a million textbooks, students are able to just carry their chromebook as just one chromebook is able to hold hundreds of textbooks as well as homework and quizzes. Chromebooks also limit the amount of paper teachers have to print. Unlike textbooks, tablets and computers have advanced technology that allow students to to highlight and write notes without ruining the textbooks. Writing notes while reading the text helps students to understand and remember the information they are reading. Not only do they help in the classroom, but they also help students prepare for the future as the world today is filled with technology.
However, chromebooks and tablets aren’t all good. Sure they can be practical for some students, but they definitely have their downsides. They are expensive which not every student can afford. They can also break easily, causing students to spend even more money on repairs, which is money that they may not have. Chromebooks also require wifi which not all students have access to.
Reading textbooks online can be very distracting to students who find it hard to focus. Instead of focusing on their reading, students may pay more attention to apps, emails, games and websites. It will take away the focus from learning to their chromebooks. Many students use their chromebooks for playing games and continue to do this when their teacher is lecturing or when they are meant to be doing their work. Even students who find it easy to stay focused on their work, may find it hard to do their work when they are staring at a bright screen all day. Excessive use of computers or tablets could cause headaches and blurred vision, making it hard to focus.
Relying on chromebooks every class and doing all their work online, students are writing less by hand and are getting used to typing everything on their computer. Students who start using chromebooks and tablets at a young age get into the habit of typing instead of writing, which will cause them to have poor handwriting skills throughout school and in the future. In addition, students have access to the internet while doing their work which allows them to use the internet to search answers prompting them to not study or actually learn the information. If students are always looking everything up on Google then they will dismiss the availablity of dictionaries and thesauruses.
Even though the internet can be a very helpful and beneficial resource for students, if it is used for the wrong reasons, it can take away from the information that students are learning in the classroom.