Replacing Textbooks with Tablets

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As more people began to access the Internet through smart phones and tablets rather than laptops and computers, it is not a surprise that they would also want to transform the American education system by bringing tablets into classrooms. In fact, a few schools around the country have already replaced textbooks with tablets and have seen improvements in students’ standardized test scores. Using tablets instead of textbooks is not only convenient and helpful, but it can also reduce the amount of paper wastes in school. However, it is not a good idea to completely transform textbooks with tablets with the current technology, for it can not only be damaging to the environment and costly to set up, but also might not be effective in improving K-12 education in the long run.
Tablet supporters would often argue that replacing textbooks with tablets can create a healthier environment. Schools can save a lot of trees since paper handouts would no longer be necessary; teachers can send documents directly onto students’ devices. However, less paper does not necessarily guarantee a less damage on the environment. The manufacturing process plays a more crucial role. Statistics show that “manufacturing one tablet requires the extraction of 33 pounds of mineral, 79 gallons of water, and 100 kilowatt hours of fossil fuels resulting in 66 pounds of carbon dioxide” and running the electronics would require even more energy (“Tablets”). On the other side, the process of manufacturing books has been improved over the century that requires less energy. Paper wastes are also easier to recycle than electronic wastes. Plus, the tablets can become easily outdated since technology world is always promising a better device every year. Throwing away old ta...

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