Money Personal Finance

Back to school shopping begins: Should you buy textbooks or tablets?

Nothing can beat the feeling of reading the hardcopy of a book – fictional or nonfictional. But books cost money and are heavy too. During my school days, I used to get tired of carrying books from one class to another. My shoulders used to pain at night and I used to curse those books till sleep beckoned me.

Anyway, coming back to the main point, I love books now since I don’t have to mug up everything and vomit during exams. But, I love to read them especially before going back to sleep. I hardly carry them when I am traveling. Tablets and e-readers have replaced those big volumes of books. And why wouldn’t they? I can think of at least 50 reasons why tablets are far better deals than any book – be it a textbook or a storybook for kids. Here are a few of them:

  1. You can store 3500 digital ebooks in a single 4GB tablet
  2. You can highlight texts or make special notes within a few clicks
  3. If your kid don’t understand a term, they can google it
  4. Kids will be less dependent on parents and teachers
  5. You can just copy and paste the main points in a doc. Kids can read them later.
  6. You can get hundreds of deals on the same ebook in different websites
  7. Tablets are light and can be carried easily
  8. Tablets are of great use especially in video production classes
  9. Some tablets really have awesome cameras. They can be used to video record lectures
  10. Students are likely to buy and read more ebooks than those read the printed version
  11. E-textbooks can be updated and released to kids fast
  12. Usually, an e-book cost 50%-60% less than normal textbooks
  13. Tablets offer lots of features which are not available in books
  14. Tablets help students to be tech-savvy

A few more instances to prove tablets are far better than textbooks for school kids.

  1. Students perform better when they use interactive digital e-books instead of ebooks. In California’s Riverside Unified School District, students who followed electronic version of an Algebra 1 textbook scored 20 percent more than students who used normal textbooks.
  2. 2. In 2011-12, approximately 13,700 students aged between 5 and 18 suffered due to backpack related injuries and had to undergo treatment in hospitals.

Now that it is established that tablets are more suitable for education purpose, let us find out a few ways to get a budget-friendly tablet for your kids:

  1. Grab the ‘50% off’ deals on hottest tech products in Amazon and Ebay.
  2. Compare the price of tablets along with their configuration before making a purchase

Some of the best tablets in town are:

  • The Apple iPad – You can get the mini model within $400 and the full-size one within $500.
  • Amazon’s Fire HDX – You can get a tablet with 8.9 inch screen within $380. It has a huge collection of ebooks which your kids can read anytime.

Although tablets have an edge over books, yet you can’t afford to overlook certain facts such as:

  • It is costly as well as time-consuming to fix errors in a tab. A child may feel helpless if a tablet stop working during exams.
  • Tablets often lead to headache and blurred vision.
  • Tablets are almost useless without Internet. This means you need to go for expensive Wi-Fi networks.

Final take

Both tablets and textbooks have pros and cons. Tablets offer a wide a range of features to kids but they create health problems too. Similarly, textbooks are heavy and create backpack injuries, but they don’t get frozen or hacked. Neither do have a battery like like tablets.

You need to analyze both the pros and cons and then decide whether or not to buy a tablet for your kids this year.