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Old 03-23-2004, 07:43 PM   #1
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laptops instead of books?

i guess i have kind of mixed emotions about this. i can understand the benefits of having a laptop, but getting rid of books completely?

http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.a...8&nav=0Ra7Lk8k

Quote:
School Tosses Textbooks for Laptops
By Steve Bray
Sci-Tech Reporter

Textbooks handed down each year is the way schools have worked in the past. In the future, it will be a laptop passed down.

It’s not just high-tech for the sake of it. Laptops will replace an armload of textbooks, making students’ loads lighter. News 8 found out about a school down in Texas that is trying to make the switch from heavy to high tech.

At Johnson Elementary School in Forney, just outside of Dallas, Texas, students have been reading “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” They're trading in their hard covers for hard drives.
Administrators at the school feel they're ahead of a wave that was sure to come.

“It wasn't a matter of if we were going to get electronic textbooks. It was a question of when we were going to get electronic textbooks,” said Mike Smith, Forney superintendent.

While kids at Forney are now testing laptops, next fall each fifth and sixth grader will be issued a PC. Their IBM Thinkpads are pre-loaded with Vital Source Technologies software that contains more than 2,000 books.

Folks at Vital Source say they can outfit each student with a laptop for under $1,000. The same textbooks would cost 13-hundred each. The real savings comes each following year.. When the only cost is a c-d-rom to upgrade the electronic text books...and the computer gets reused.

The attraction for teachers and parents is apparent. “The thing I like is that the kids can take notes while we're working with a piece of text,” said Amber Belobraydic, teacher. “Computers are here. I think it's an exciting opportunity for my children. They'll grow up using them,” said Christine Corley, parent.

Kids see the advantage, too. “Once we get the laptops it will be easier and lighter,” said Heather Liles, a student.

With recent concerns about the weight that our kids are carrying home from school each day, the contrast between the electronic textbooks and their more sizable predecessors is obvious.

“I'm really excited, because now, like when we go from class to class we won't have books falling all over the floor. We'll just have one thing to carry,” said Hailey Hicks, student.

Of course, “the dog ate my homework” excuse may become a thing of the past. “Usually I lose all my homework. I won't forget it now. If I do, I'm in trouble,” said Zach Ghormley.

Some school districts around central Indiana are already using laptops in the classroom. This example from Texas is the first to toss the textbooks completely.
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Old 03-23-2004, 07:48 PM   #2
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I don't know about them, but I get the worst headaches ever if I try to read too much from a computer screen. I'd still prefer to spent hours in the library reading journal articles on paper than stay home and read the same articles online.

Besides...there's just something special about being able to curl up in bed and read a good book...curling up with a laptop just wouldn't have the same effect.
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:25 PM   #3
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Laptops will soon be taking over.

Online texts are coming people. Our middle school science program is totally on the web.

We now have wireless laptops for the elementary school.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:09 PM   #4
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I prefer laptops anyway. If you want a hard copy, you can still print it and if not, no loss.
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:35 PM   #5
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The middle schools and high schools in Orange County have for the most part eliminated lockers so that means one set of books for the classroom and one set for home. The first day of school always means lugging home 5 or 6 heavy books and then making sure you have them all to turn back in 9 months later.

Its even worse for the elementary school kids...they only have one set of books so they have to lug them all home every day, along with the binders, day planners and journals they are required to keep...their backpacks are ridiculously heavy so I'm kind of liking this idea.

Its not going to stop them from reading a good old fashioned book at home
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:30 PM   #6
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Didn't they predict this years ago? All print media would be obsolete?
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:36 PM   #7
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I like books because they don't crash
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Old 03-23-2004, 10:50 PM   #8
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Same knowledge and you save trees...sounds good to me.
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Old 03-24-2004, 04:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
I don't know about them, but I get the worst headaches ever if I try to read too much from a computer screen. I'd still prefer to spent hours in the library reading journal articles on paper than stay home and read the same articles online.

Besides...there's just something special about being able to curl up in bed and read a good book...curling up with a laptop just wouldn't have the same effect.


I hate reading long journal articles for essays online.
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:58 AM   #10
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I can't see -all- print media disappearing any time soon. You can't curl up with a laptop like you can with a book. I surely wouldn't take a laptop to read while taking a bath either,
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Old 03-24-2004, 06:02 AM   #11
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Yeah at this one University where I wanted to apply like you HAD to get a laptop because alot of the books were on cd roms now. I liked the idea but it was like $2,000 more lol
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Old 03-24-2004, 07:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Laptops will soon be taking over.

Online texts are coming people. Our middle school science program is totally on the web.

We now have wireless laptops for the elementary school.

$$$ If this is the new trend it will further the gap between the wealthy communities and the poorer communities.


Quote:
While kids at Forney are now testing laptops, next fall each fifth and sixth grader will be issued a PC. Their IBM Thinkpads are pre-loaded with Vital Source Technologies software that contains more than 2,000 books.
Yeah, until the kids break or lose them or they get stolen. Nevermind like Fizzy mentioned about getting headaches and eyeaches from working with a computer too much. And who pays for the maintenance of the PCs? This seems like a big hole to throw money in, IMO.
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Old 03-25-2004, 07:42 PM   #13
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One plus with texts on laptops is that the material can be more easily and quickly updated than in print form.

But I agree, reading texts off computer screens can give anyone a headache after an hour or so.
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:18 AM   #14
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For post secondary i think its a great idea as the price of books or rather programs would go down. And if they didnt i could just download the material off antoher person or split the overly expensive cd-roms with classmates. Even if i had to buy a laptop it would save me money over 4 years.
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:38 AM   #15
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Books don't cost much to make, and they're easier on the eyes than computer screens. And you can lie down reading, rather than sitting upright all day long and get prostate cancer... oops, i'm digressing.
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Old 03-26-2004, 02:13 AM   #16
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When I picked my kids up at their school on Wednesday, a boy was throwing a very large text book up into a tree to try and dislodge his lunch bag.

I don't ever want to see my kids throwing a thinkpad up into a tree to retrieve anything.......
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Old 03-26-2004, 03:47 AM   #17
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Since when are laptops that much lighter. A laptop bag is awkward andx heavy and not at all useful for carrying anything else in. So now kids will have two bags to lug around all day. The cost of maintaining these computers will eventually outweigh the initial reduction in setting this system up. Theft and loss will become a major pain in the arse. So will the very nature of never having a totally reliable system running on these computers, doesn't matter what OS you are on, all computers crash at some stage and everyone has lost information at one point. Then there is the OH&S side of things. Computer usage in the workplace is currently the leading cause of workplace injury. I hope the school district is prepared to deal with the consequences of 8+ hour usage and the effects on the students.

Still, I guess this has all been considered. Kids are pandered to enough anyway. Whats a bit more. Back in MY day, we had to walk barefoot 8 miles each way in 6 feet of snow, with wooden poles across our shoulders and used housebricks to even the load to even GET to school. School being one shoddy slap-clad wooden structure with no running water or electricity, and not even a roof after a cyclone came thorugh and blew it off.

But give these kids laptops. They deserve it.
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Old 03-26-2004, 08:14 AM   #18
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It's not really about repairing and maintaining a laptop - they are essentially machines with a very short lifespan.

I will give you an example - I have an excellent Toshiba, but if my screen were to crack, it's a $1000 repair, which then makes you wonder why not just put in another 1000 and get a brand new one? The average life of a laptop is about 3-4 years, at which point it becomes obsolete.

For universities, on a 3-4 year degree, it seems like a sound investment. And if you can put in a little bit of extra money, you don't have to end up with something hugely heavy and bulky. I love mine.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:21 AM   #19
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I cannot imagine laptops or computers completely replacing books. It might sound like a "turf" argument coming from a library worker, but, I have used both the Internet and regular books for research. Most recently I did a research project on the Turks for my historical re-enactment society for a class I did at a Middle Eastern event last year, and I'm using it again in June. I would have been lost if it hadn't been for a great book on the Ottoman Empire I checked out of the library, despite the fact that I also worked from some terrific Turkish sites.
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:23 PM   #20
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Also, a obsolete computer is considered hazardous waste material, and one cannot just dump it in a trash.

Whereas on the other hand, books can be recycled more easily.
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