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Text books VS e-books

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So as a way to cut budges alot of schools are looking at the idea of going from old fashion text books to e-books. Yes the start up cost to purchase the e-book readers are more money but in the long run the schools could update books and purchase the books much cheaper. The downside however is the cost of the e-readers and lets face it your handing these over to kids. Kids are not exactly careful. Picture it e-readers tossed in backpacks that are thrown around, dropped, I think you get the picture.

The state of CA is looking into doing this. Governor Schwarzeneggar has already set aside 350 million for this. He feels it will be not only cheaper but also the kids can get the up to date books. Now so far from the looks of things the books will cost them about $250. each, that's not cheap.

I'm in Florida and they are talking about them here. All I can thinks is by the end of the year generally I end up purchasing a book because my kid has lost a book. OK I don't want to go forking out $250. for a e-book now. Plus I have boys and well they are boys. E-books are not going to last in their backpacks unless they supply a hard case and lets face it are they going to use the case? Then you have the whole thing of "hey this is a cool TOY so lets play and not really do our work".

I dunno I'm torn between good idea and bad idea. So any e-book readers out there? What do you think? I hear so many stories of love them or hate them

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missb's picture
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Re: Text books VS e-books
I like this idea, they have already implemented these in some schools in Ireland already. I'm not sure how the whole thing is going, I'll try to find out. I like it because it will definitely save money and also there'll be less weight in the book bag, sometimes son o'mines book bag is so heavy he can hardly carry it. As far as keeping them in tact? Well this is the internet age and kids are growing up with it, they will just have to learn to keep these things in tact, I know, easier said than done but lets give them a little credit. Mine is really careful with his stuff hes anal retentive like that, guess I'm lucky.

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Re: Text books VS e-books

Oh I understand about the back packs weighing a ton. I think were raising children who will are destine to have chronic back pain. I do like my oldest son school where the teachers have a class set of books and the kids took home a set of books so that way there was no hauling them around and no showing up for class without a book since it was already there. As for the ebooks I guess once I tried them I would love them.

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Re: Text books VS e-books

Who cares? Not like the kids read the text books anyway. Spending a few more bucks for text to appear on a LED screen won't change the fact that they don't care about the material.

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Re: Text books VS e-books

Well I don't know about that. 2 of my 3 kids are avid readers. My oldest scores so high on his reading exams (the state ones) that he has gotten scholarships. The one who doesn't like to read well for him yeah it will be just another toy. I think there are alot of books that have turned our kids more in to readers at a younger age. Books like Harry Potter and Twilight are very popular with kids.

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Re: Text books VS e-books

Point taken, however Harry Potter and Twilight are vastly different from Applied Calculus in Economics and Finance or Understanding the Evolution of Politics, Edition IV.

People only love to read things that they have a passion for, and it's good to see that your kids love to read (as a lot of American childrens' reading ability is below those children in Cuba - a third world country-) but that does not change the fact that they will take interest in any of the textbooks that they will read in the future. I love to read, my interest in genres is quite vast, however when I pick up a text book for let's say philosophy or sociology I usually find myself slobbering on the pages in a matter of minutes.

I think it's a good idea, and I'm all for the wave of the future movement. But realistically the costs for books texts and other legible materials at "public schools" will rise and quite frankly, most of the time kids don't read the books anyway. So sure, we can spend a few bucks to upgrade to the educational version of the KindleAmazon, but last time I checked, parents had problems even paying for school lunch for their own kids.
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Re: Text books VS e-books

Yeah I understand that and I do have mixed feelings on the matter. I think that the "fun" of a new toy could get them a little more interested in the e-books however that maybe short lived.

Cost wise I think it could be cheaper in the long run. Yes it would cost a chunk of change to buy them at first but when you think about it the e-readers CA said would cost around $250. each a textbook costs what around $85.00 (atleast that is what I had to pay when my son lost his science book - yeah not to happy about that one). I'm not sure what the cost of the texts on e-readers would run but I'm going to go out on a limb and say 1/2. In the long run their going to save. Where it could bite them in the butt is if the e-readers are broken. I know my kids come home and they toss the backpacks on the ground, ummm yeah they can't so that if they go to these. I'm sure my kids are not the only ones to toss backpacks around. Its a catch 22 your [email protected] if you do and [email protected] if you don't.

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Re: Text books VS e-books

Well I imagine the cost of replacing a broken e-book device would be more than just the $85.00 you pay for the lost textbook. Which I would personally take over any other day. But that's just me I guess. Kids are prone to do crazy things with any electronic device ( I think current events have proven that much to us ) frankly I think that having a computer or laptop would suffice, and if teachers want to go for a whole electronic reading tablet, why not make texts downloadable through some portal? So that any student can download it on their computer screen at home ( The argument of kids not having computers may come up, but seriously what kid doesn't have or at least have access to a working computer now-a-days? )

My main problem with e-books is that it takes away the experience of using a real book. Namely, getting completely immersed in the book itself. It's different to read a book and turn it page by page, as opposed to watching a little electronic screen shift to change the page views. It's just not the same.

Apply that experience to a text book. With a text book you can easily flip through the pages, take notes, highlight important lines and information in the book, bookmark pages for later evaluation and analysis. I doubt an ebook reader could provide that same experience, which just won't do because that takes away from the whole learning experience.

Even reading through an appendix or glossary can become such a pain, because you're scrolling by a single page count as opposed to many with a regular text book.

Then you have to take into account the fact that these devices will most likely go through numerous system updates and physical upgrades, which will no doubt be costly as well.

So sure it may lower costs... which I doubt, but in the long run will it provide the same learning experience for a child that only a physical book can provide?

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Re: Text books VS e-books

Very valid points. I do agree I much prefer the feel of the pages in my hands. Then I think about the weight of the backpacks and how they are killing kids backs hauling them around.

As of now I dont think my schools are changing over to them (yet). I guess time will tell if they do if I will like them or not.

My kids schools do have books online that they access for I would say about 1/2 of their classes. Last year once we had to go in search and lucky us it wasn't one of the online books Sad

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