I have always been a bit of a purist about books. I want my daughter to know the feel of paper between her fingers. I know I'm not alone. So I surprised even myself when I heard a high school had completely given up on textbooks. I wanted to forward the news to my kid's school and suggest they follow suit.
Yes, you read that right. I think going completely digital is something every school should do. ASAP!
I know it won't happen any time soon, mostly because it costs a lot of dough to outfit every kid in your school with an iPad or a laptop. Not to mention I live in the boonies; a fair share of the kids in my daughter's school district don't have computers at home because they don't even have Internet access (yes, in 2013, and yes, I know how ridiculous this is ... please, write my legislators!). Still, this is a viable option, and to prove it, Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, has become one of the first schools in the country to go all digital.
They're still one of the very few, but it's about darn time someone did it!
This has nothing to do with shoving electronics down kids' throats and everything to do with the pain and strain on a child's back every time they hoist a backpack, pain that only gets worse as they head into high school and get loaded down with homework that requires multiple tomes to complete.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission once calculated that carrying a 12-pound backpack to and from school and lifting it 10 times a day for an entire school year puts a cumulative load on kids of 21,600 pounds. That is the equivalent of six mid-sized cars. The CPSC recommends a backpack weigh no more than 10 to 15 percent of a child's weight, but the average bag is more like 20 percent.
Oh, and they ALSO say 7,000 kids on average suffer some sort of injury ... from a BACKPACK.
Replacing all that weight with something you can carry with one hand? Kind of a no-brainer to me if the school can come up with the cash.
Because as important as an education is for kids, in the long run, they need their health too! And coming from someone whose back problems started at around 12 -- and whose bookbag was definitely above that 15 percent threshold -- I can't tell you how much I wish this option had been available in the early '90s.
What would you do if your kid's school went all digital?
Image via USAG-Humphreys/Flickr