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A proposal from the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), titled "A Kindle In Every Backpack: A Propposal for eTextbooks in American Schools," recently was sent to Washington for a plan to give kids, grades K-12, a Kindle, or other electronic reading device, instead of textbooks.
Though the initial costs will be more than what they spend on paper textbooks ($9 billion as opposed to $6 billion), the overall savings of the project will be approximately $700 million within five years. Here are, what I consider, some pros and cons of the eTextbook:
- Lightweight: no more heavy backpacks
- Cost: $700 million is a lot of savings
- Portability: No excuse for not being able to study!
- Provides for an interactive and digital classroom
- Upfront costs: Our school systems are already majorly in debt...would they even be able to handle the $3 billion initial increase?
- Maintenance. If a page tears in a book, you can just tape it up. Who will be responsible if the Kindle breaks or gets lost? Parents or school system?
- Technology segregation. Not everyone is tech-savvy (or are they nowadays?) and this can be a disadvantage for those kids (or parents trying to help them) who may not be.
The DLC wants to introduce it by having year-long pilot programs, with under 400,000 students, to slowly integrate this technology into the school system. If it's widely accepted, the next year they will do two times that number, etc. until it goes completely national.
Do you think it's a good idea to introduce eTextbooks into the school systems? What are your concerns?