Monday, November 19, 2012

ProCon.org to unveil new microsite tomorrow examining the issue of tablets versus textbooks in the classroom

The nonprofit public issues website ProCon.org has created a microsite to look at the issue of tablets in the classroom versus the continued use of printed textbooks. The microsite will be officially unveiled to the public tomorrow via the public issuing of a press release.

The new microsite, Should tablets replace textbooks in K-12 schools?, runs through the arguments both for the use of tablets, as well as the advantages of printed textbooks, provides an historical background section, as well as videos, photos and footnotes.

In favor of tablets are such factors as 1) Tablets help students learn more material faster; 2) 81% of K-12 teachers believe that "tablets enrich classroom education."; and 3) Tablets can hold hundreds of textbooks on one device, plus homework, quizzes, and other files, eliminating the need for physical storage of books and classroom materials. Fifteen separate arguments are made in favor of tablets in the classroom.

In opposition are such arguments as 1) Handheld technological devices including tablets are associated with a range of health problems; 2) Using tablets is more expensive than using print textbooks; and 3) Tablets have too many distractions for classroom use. (citing the use of apps). Seventeen arguments in total are made in opposition.

The ProCon.org website contains 43 different Pro-Con microsites on issues deemed controversial such as Standardized Tests, Elections and Presidents, Social Networking and Alternative Energy. (One assumes this new one makes 44 such sites.)

The organization says its mission is "Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format."

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