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Tuesday, October 11

Has Technology Written The Final Chapter for Textbooks?

Posted by Leslie

Costly textbooks require frequent replacement with new editions to include the latest information—a problem schools are increasingly avoiding with the ease and flexibility of technology. With the growing popularity of tablets, we’re beginning to wonder: Are textbooks still relevant?

Yale Medical School doesn’t think so. As of this month, each of its med students have been issued an iPad 2 for use in clinical settings as well as the classroom. The portable and interactive devices allow students to download the entire medical curriculum. And because the iPad is encrypted, confidential patient information is securely stored.

A batch of 6th-graders at one Southampton school found themselves in the middle of the technology sweet spot. They got to exchange their textbooks for iPad 2s this year, which the school district describes as simply an evolution of the textbook.

How do students feel? This infographic explains just how far students are willing to go in order to never carry a textbook again!

Schools across the country are phasing out textbooks in favor of iPads, Kindles and other tablets. But there’s always a learning curve with new technology, and it’s important to figure out what works best in print format and what works best in a digital format. Learn more about the trade-offs here.

What do you think the “books” of the future will look like? Check out this video from TED.com – software developer Mike Matas demonstrates what the first full-length interactive book on an iPad.

So what are your thoughts? Will textbooks eventually go the way of the quill feather and ink? One thing’s for sure: It’s definitely a trend to watch and one to consider for your school. Besides, who wants to thumb through a clunky dictionary when you can Google it in less time than it takes you to remember what a dictionary is?

(Image via Schools.com)