Is the iPad Replacing School Textbooks in America?

Schools are replacing textbooks with iPads.

At least one principal at a suburban Boston High School thinks iPads at $500 dollars are a better long-term investment than textbooks.

The reason being is that iPads cost between $500 and $600 dollars, which is what Brookfield High in Connecticut estimates it spends per student on a yearly basis for textbooks, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Textbooks are heavy and bulky to carry around and Principal Patrick Larkin tells AP, "they’re pretty much outdated the minute they’re printed and certainly by the time they’re delivered. The bottom line is that the iPads will give our kids a chance to use much more relevant materials.”

Students in more than 600 public school districts across the United States will be getting an iPad when the 2011 fall semester begins. Although iPads are not killing the textbooks just yet, the argument can be made that it is stepping towards that direction since in some of these schools the iPads will replace the textbook in several classes.

The iPad has also been popular at a Minnesota high school that bought 375 tablets for all its students last year.

What was meant to be used as a study companion to the learning process, according to Padgadget, ended up as an experimental success.

Not only were students familiarized with what is gradually becoming a ubiquitous technology, but educators at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop High School grasped how the device allows students to learn "incredible research skills. They believe the iPad is "well worth the cost."

This year, students will be returning to school with their iPads with YouTube programmed out to avert any loss of focus during class.

iPads are attractive to educators not only for providing a more interactive approach to reading and studying, but also because of the cost, since they absorb the need to buy graphic calculators, dictionaries, and other items that are found within the device.

Also, ultimately iPads would allow published information to be updated or re-edited in less time compared to waiting for an entire new edition of a textbook to be printed and distributed.

Textbooks can finally say “hello” to the digital age.

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