Technology vs. old school

Molly Wade, Staff Writer

Students have complained about textbooks for years. However, this could change due to new devices and innovations in technology. According to ABC 13 online news, Fort Bend ISD has proposed spending $18 million on iPads for students. Thirteen elementary schools in Katy ISD have tried out similar pilot programs.

“If there was a way to find access for every student in the school and if they could maintain it, then it would be a great move for us,” sophomore Rachel Ward said. “It could also lighten our load for classes too.”

But bringing textbooks to class only applies to some subjects while subjects like English and science would not always require them in class.

“I don’t think a switch like that would really affect my classes because both my juniors and freshman don’t really use the textbook in class,” AP Language and English I teacher Alyssa Bruder said.

At the same time a move to virtual books could decrease jobs and funds in schools. According to Bruder, textbook companies would lose money, and schools could save funds previously set aside for textbooks. With virtual textbooks a virtual library could become a reality as well.

“I do not think kids would need our help as much if a switch like that happened,” librarian Yvette Karns said. “It would pretty much eliminate my job.”

Students already own devices such as Kindles or Nooks to read virtual novels instead of physical books.

“I use a Kindle,” Bruder said. “If I want to annotate, I like to actually physically write in my book. But if I’m reading it, then the Kindle is great.”

According to Karns, many would oppose the iPad initiative due to the technology barrier for some students.

“I think it would be a slow process because some teachers are not as apt to change their ways,” Karns said. “But once it gets going I think it would be smooth sailing.”