20 March 2014
Implementing Technology into Education: The Tablet vs. Textbook Debate
On February 1st 2012, Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and Federal Communications Chair, Julius Genachowski, said that schools and publishers should “switch to digital textbooks within five years to foster interactive education, save money on books, and ensure classroom in the US use up-to-date content.” After they made this statement, the federal government released a 70-page guide for schools called the “Digital Textbook Playbook,” a “roadmap for educators to accelerate the transition to digital textbooks” (ProCon.org). This debate of whether schools should implement technology in the everyday curriculum of education is an ever-growing topic that has districts completely changing the ways of teaching. However, this movement wasn’t always specific on tablets and completers.
In 1999, interactive whiteboards were introduced to the general teaching community. These SMART Boards, produced by Smart Technologies and Industries, started off as an LCD screen attached to a computer. Then in 2001, eIntrusion introduced a fully mobile interactive whiteboard, using wireless technology to allow teachers to move anywhere in the classroom and reducing the dependency on being attached to a computer. Later in 2005, Audience-responsive devices, or “clickers” were introduced to be compatible with interactive whiteboards as a means to engage students in the SMART board technology. These clickers allowed in-class participation to be facilitated while reducing the need for other things, like paper and additional time.
Smartphones and tablets are the most popular technology used in the classroom. These mobile devices have a plethora of educational applications that be used for teaching and learning virtually 24/7. In addition to the constant availability, technology based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by...