BASSARAB: Time to move past physical textbooks

mugshot_bassarabBY ALBINA BASSARAB
[email protected]

It has come to really bother me coming home each day to a pile of textbooks gathering dust and knowing how pointless they really are. For about half of my classes, most textbooks are hardly touched throughout the school year. Some of them are far outdated, too, which obviously can teach false or outdated lessons, which is likely driving teachers away from using them for reliable teaching sources.

One would think that in a world with such technological advances and additional resources that might be more beneficial to classroom efficiency that textbooks might be more obsolete than they are now. It seems that there are plenty of online resources that could replace textbooks that aren’t being used to their full effect or potential.

I understand that textbooks are still relevant and necessary in school for students who don’t have reliable access to a computer or the internet at home, in the case of online assignments, but there is little excuse for textbooks to still be used in a classroom setting, especially considering the extensive opportunities that online curriculums offer.

It is interesting that everything about schools has evolved over the years. From desks to boards to writing utensils, everything about the operation of schools has changed with the times– except textbooks. They have been around for centuries and once upon a time were cutting edge in education systems. Now, though, their relevance is devaluing in classrooms that have more reliable and efficient way of having students learn information such as powerpoints or Khan Academy.

Speaking of online resources, I think that a replacement of physical textbooks into an online version would be much more efficient than our current system. Though it would not save much money due to the fact that digital textbooks come with a license that needs to be renewed often at full price (more often than the rate at which physical textbooks are replaced), I think that if this whole “renewal system” would be changed, we could substantially change the system of the textbooks, marking the next step in our school systems.

Even when we do use textbooks, the material in the chapters are often outdated since they’re updated so infrequently. Considering the fact that the renewal of textbooks is based on site need and curriculum changes, when the time comes for them to be replaced, they are already useless.

In my personal experience, more than half of the time my textbooks go completely untouched throughout the school year and I am only reminded of their existence once I am required to turn them back in at the end of the school year.

I think we can all agree that the days of grabbing four textbooks at the beginning of each term should rightfully be numbered.