Here’s a piece of e-reader news that might have a rippling effect in educational institutions not only in the US but the world over – the Clearwater High School has decided they have had enough of the usual old school textbooks and are favoring e-readers instead. In fact the switch to the new age electronic reading devices would happen as early as from the next session itself. As an innovative change, Clearwater is going to stop making use of the conventional paper textbooks and instead give the students e-readers as substitutes in the following year. Books are going to be completely swapped with these devices which are going to to be uploaded with student’s subject contents. Also, with this move, the Florida based Clearwater High School will perhaps be the first secondary school in the entire United States to ditch textbooks completely in favor of e-readers.
The school, which seats 2,100 students, has been reported to be still unsure as to who to use as a seller for the e-readers, but sources indicate it is the Amazon’s Kindle e-readers that’s leading the race. And for this, the school system has allocated $600,000 that is to be spent in the next six-year for buying the e-readers for Clearwater High School. Other e-readers like the Barnes & Noble Nook or the Sony e-reader too are in the fray though close to about a hundred teachers at the Clearwater High have already been provided with Kindles. The current decision to provide e-readers to every students comes in the place of an earlier move of issuing every child a laptop computer, which was overturned due to the high costs involved.
The e-reader’s that the students will be provided with will contain textbooks and will also have Internet access that will enable the students to look up for the most updated information. However, what they won’t be able to do is download content on their own.
This move to using e-readers instead of conventional textbooks was always waiting to happen and it is just the time that will determine when this change will entirely come about. A single e-reader can store a few thousand books in their electronic format and can go on for days or even weeks on a single charge. This sums up to huge savings on part of nature as a single e-reader can save quite a few trees from the chopping block. Also, students will for sure welcome the change as gone will be the days when they have to lug around a backpack filled with bulky paperbacks. A single e-reader weighing less than half a kilo would be all that they have to carry to school. E-readers will also help save a lot of money as e-books generally cost less than their conventional paper counterparts.
It would have perhaps made more sense if this change started in colleges first since their textbooks are more costly than the Kindle which retails for $259, or even the iPad that has a starting price of $499. As a plus, students in colleges would get to make their own decisions whether to use these devices or just stick to using textbooks. High schools on the other hand need to refer to the government bureaucracy office for making such purchases. It can be mentioned here that an earlier attempt was made at introducing Kindles to students at the Princeton University though it had come to a naught. Instead, its the iPad that has found itself on a better stand as the Apple wonder is being doled out to every freshmen at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Though regardless of this, it is a novel step towards moving with the hi-tech advancements of our society. It is going to be interesting for all to see whether or not this device makes the change that is being desired. What if a student loses the e-reader or breaks it? Well, he will have to pay up for that just as it would have been for a textbook. The prospect of having the e-readers insured is being discussed which would come in handy during the unlikely scenario of the e-readers getting damaged or lost.
It would be interesting to see how things pan out. So keep watching.
Also, the June issue of the Good E-Reader Magazine is available. Subscribe to it if you haven’t done already.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email