Is the iPad ready to replace texbooks, paper and pencils?

With the new school year just around the corner, it’s time for back-to-school shopping. But some students won’t be picking up the standard paper and pencils to put in their backpacks this year. Instead, they’ll be bringing their iPad.

Is the iPad really worthy of replacing the time-tested pencil and paper in the classroom?

Many schools throughout the country are starting to think so and are embracing the iPad as the latest educational tool. According to The New York Times, Roslyn High School in Long Island, New York, gave out 47 new iPads this past school year. The district is hoping to supply all of their students with iPads for them to use during the year, not only for textbooks, but also to keep in contact with their teachers and submit their homework assignments. Instructors are also using them to keep a digital portfolio of each student’s work.

While the iPad has other capabilities, such as emailing and word processing programs, there are some devices that are used strictly as textbook replacements, like the Kindle. Amazon implemented the “Kindle Textbook Rental Program” in July of this year. This program is available on the Kindle e-reader, as well as the free Kindle app available on the iPad and other devices. According to Amazon, this new program allows students to rent “tens of thousands” of educational textbooks for a fraction of the typical cost of textbooks. This digital rental is available between 30 and 360 days, after which access to the book is locked unless the rental is renewed. Readers can extend their rental for as little as one day or even decide to purchase the book.

Anyone who has ever bought a used college textbook knows that the pages often come with highlighted sections and notes in the margins. Well, your markers and pens won’t work the same with the digital copy of the book and this has made many people hesitant about making the investment. But, through the new “cloud” system on Amazon, it is now possible to make notations and highlights in the book and return to these important pages at a later time. These markings all remain intact if the student decides to get the book again after their rental has expired and are also accessible online without renewal.

It seems like a major expense for a device that will provide access to digital books when you could just spend the money on the book itself. iPad’s start at around $499 and Kindles start around $100, but for higher education students the cost of the tablet PC can still save them cash in the long run. On average, college students can spend around $1,000 on books every semester, whereas these devices are a one-time fee. Most sites advertise their digital books at around half the cost of printed copies and Amazon boasts theirs will save students up to 80 percent off the list price of the print textbook. But the iPad won’t just replace the use of textbooks. It can be used instead of a laptop (approximately $700), technical graphing calculators (approximately $180), and general school supplies, like paper and pens (approximately $150 per year). This shows the long-term financial savings, as well as the convenience of having everything in one place, that comes with investing in a tablet.

It is evident that the iPad is here to stay and students are just one of the groups benefiting from it. When it comes to the classroom, do you think the iPad has found its place?

Related posts:

  1. New e-book reader from Amazon
  2. Beta version of the Kindle Plugin built for Adobe InDesign (R) released by Amazon
  3. Amazon Free Kindle Apps for Android and Windows Tablets
  4. Amazon’s Kindle for the Web
  5. Amazon’s Shopping App for iPad

Related posts:

  1. New e-book reader from Amazon
  2. Beta version of the Kindle Plugin built for Adobe InDesign (R) released by Amazon
  3. Amazon Free Kindle Apps for Android and Windows Tablets
  4. Amazon’s Kindle for the Web
  5. Amazon’s Shopping App for iPad

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