Textbooks or Digital?

The use of textbooks in classrooms is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, in many classrooms, each child has their own laptop computer with digital textbooks downloaded.

Pros and Cons


My first thought is how fabulous it would be not to have to cover any more textbooks in September! No more cutting brown shopping bags and fitting it around the book! No struggling to stretch cloth covers over slightly too big hard covers.

My second thought was how nice it would be not to see my kids schlepping TONS of heavy books back and forth from school, their backs bending under the weight.

I couldn’t really think of any downside unless it be the expense involved…the expense of replacing spilled on, virus ridden, lost laptops. With our busy schedule, I’d add the worry of lost computers left behind at sporting practices and dropped from counter tops in the rush to pack schoolbags.

Here to stay

Of course, over the past year of distance learning, the use of digital technology has been a lifesaver from classroom teaching to virtual music and dance lessons. I doubt that we will ever completely go back to the “old-school” way of carrying books and loose-leaf paper. But there is something to be said for holding a book in your hand. There’s something to be said for disconnecting from electronics for a significant part of the day.

I wonder if making laptops a necessary item might also make it more difficult to monitor web usage of children. If they are on the Internet all day for school and then for homework, who’s to say cyberbullying and inappropriate usage won’t sky-rocket?

There is a common idiom that says you have to “take the bad with the good”. But in this case, is it worth the added screen time and risk? The verdict is out.

What’s your thought? Textbook or netbook?

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