This is a debate that will become more and more relevant as technology advances. It is also something that is well worth considering as kids become more and more technologically advanced. The impact of technology and social media is so apparent on a day to day basis that it is changing the way we interact.
Technology and Tradition
Initially, when the e-book came out, many pundits declared that it was the end for traditional books and newspapers. After all, why would anyone still buy hard-copy books and magazines? The demise of the traditional paper books and magazines has still not, more than a decade later, come to pass and that can largely be attributed to the habits of the various readers. A lot of people still prefer the look and feel of an actual book to that of an e-book. Many people find that reading books on their computers is a clunky way of doing things. Of course, that is now set to change with the improved technology available. You would not want to take your desktop PC to the pool with you in order to read the latest bestseller, but you might consider taking an e-reader, such as a Kindle. The improved technology and convenience of e-readers are making them a lot more mainstream and popular and our reading habits are changing accordingly.
Saving the Planet
Add this to the increased environmental awareness that has been developing all over the world and it is not difficult to envisage a school environment that replaces paper books with e-readers. In fact, as the youth become more environmentally aware, they will start to demand a more environmentally sound delivery system for their text books. The financial argument will probably win out here as well – although the capital outlay for an e-reader may initially be a fair amount, the e-reader will move with the learner from grade to grade and e-books will be available at a fraction of the cost of paper copies.
Reaching the Youth
Even more important, is the fact that technology has impacted the way that the youth respond. It is a known fact that social media and the like are creating a generation of people that crave multi-media experiences and become bored with traditional media very quickly. In short, if you want kids to learn, you will have to engage them at a different level. The advent of short, serialised books made especially for smartphones indicates the success of using technology to reach students. Another example of how Twitter can enhance education is the use of Twitter chat during lectures – students can tweet their questions directly to the lecturer as the lecture progresses. The basic implications in terms of education are enormous. It does not take any great leap of faith to see that e-readers will in future replace books as learning tools in schools.