Sydney School Ditches “Distracting” iPads Reverts Back To Paper Textbooks


By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Sydney’s Reddam House Private school has done away with iPads and brought in old school textbooks, in order to go back to the golden days when books and copies were the norm. It’s a step away from their previous policy wherein they asked students to get their own devices on which they were comfortable. In fact, iPads were their go-to textbooks for the last few years. Until now.

 The school administration has decided to do away with iPads and other such devices because they believe that the main purpose isn’t being served. The technological advancement and development which they thought children would acquire through iPads never saw the light of day. But there have been some concerns raised by parents who believe that e-books are the future, and children would do better with iPads at their behest.

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Ironically, the entire decision was taken up by students themselves, who felt that their needs were better served using pages, rather than a digital interface. But this change is in stark contrast to the ongoing technological change that is taking place in most schools around the globe- where students and staff are doing away with books to get their hands on iPads.

What does science have to say about this entire situation?

Well, there have been multiple studies that show the pros and cons of digital education- one of them posited in Canada. According to this study, around 6000 students use iPads to study daily. And these devices have both pros and cons- pros being the efficiency with which they can gather knowledge and information, and cons being the inability to type for long stretches of time.

There have been quite diversified studies regarding this trope, wherein a study showed that while the use of iPads helped students with special needs by granting them some form of independence, the cons involved not really helping them with mathematical problems.

While there have been several studies afloat, most of them remain inconclusive about where iPads stand when education is the main point of contention. Some experts are of the notion that the full spectrum of iPads hasn’t been utilized for the benefit of the students, and the teachers themselves. They believe that there is a lot more to be explored with the technology that they have in hand.

One reason why some are rallying for plain books is that modern technology requires a lot of upgrades. Upgrades that might already affect the flagging budget in many education systems. Also, with devices like iPads comes the notion of surveillance. Administrators have to be very careful about what they are allowing and what they aren’t. Access to the internet too has to be regulated.

When it comes to a student’s ability to comprehend texts, there are a few studies which talk about how reading books rather than PDFs help students more. But there are also studies which show that not enough research has been done in this field to reach a conclusion.

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There are major cons to using iPads. One of them involves the blue light that is radiated by the device. It can cause retina problems. Also, the presence of an iPad can seriously hamper the time a child would be involved in the playground. This can further lead to issues like obesity, and chronic depression, along with insomnia.

 So, while iPads have their own way of making things easy for everyone, their recent introduction in the technological field may mean that a bit more research is required before one can outright say that iPads would make for good educational devices.


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