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< Back to question Should tablets replace textbooks? Show more Show less

Schools are using more technology to educate students every day. Should textbooks also be digitized or should schools continue using physical textbooks?

No, tablets should not replace textbooks. Show more Show less

Tablets are a new technology and may be at times unreliable. Its versatility is also a weakness, and not all schools can accommodate such mediums of education.
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Tablets can make students easily distracted

It is easy to switch to other non-educational tasks on a tablet.
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Proponents


The Argument

With a seemingly unlimited access to apps, videos, games, and websites, tablets can easily prevent students from focusing on their work. A 2012 U.S. study by Pew Research Center found that 87% of 2,462 surveyed middle and high school teachers claim “today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans.”[1] Many students struggle to multitask while using technology; thus, tablets can prevent students from concentrating on a single assignment or task. Their short attention spans combined with distracting graphics and sounds can lead to a decrease in productivity and interest in schoolwork. Various studies have also analyzed the effect of gadgets on students' grades. For example, according to a 2016 U.S. study whose findings were published in the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at MIT, "students in the sections that allowed some form of device use [for a computer-based exam] scored 18 percent of a standard deviation lower than students in the section where devices were banned." [2] Students should solely use tablets for non-educational tasks after studying to avoid any distractions during their study time. Limiting tablet usage or rescinding it altogether can lead to an increase in focus, productivity, and overall success.

Counter arguments

Although tablets give students access to a countless number of websites, apps, games, etc., they also encourage students to improve their focus and multitasking. Being able to focus and multitask for long periods of time can prove useful to students in their daily life, as well as in the future if they decide to pursue higher education or a career. Also, if students are aware of numerous potential distractions but manage to stay focused on productive while using a tablet, they can feel more accomplished and successful, which could motivate and inspire them in their studies.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2012/11/01/part-v-teachers-concerns-about-broader-impacts-of-digital-technologies-on-their-students/
  2. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/05/13/allowing-devices-classroom-hurts-academic-performance-study-finds

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Jul 2020 at 05:06 UTC

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