Tablets vs Textbooks
Using tablets is more expensive than using print textbooks.
– E-textbooks on tablets cost on average 50-60% less than print textbooks. According to a 2016 report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), K-12 school districts spend more than $10 billion per year on textbooks. However, the same report found that e-textbooks can save schools between $250-$1,000 per student per year. Tablet prices also continue to drop, making them increasingly affordable. Tablets cost on average $489 in 2011, $386 in 2012, $263 in 2015, and $139 in 2017.
Handheld technological devices including tablets are associated with a range of health problems.
– Print textbooks are heavy and cause injuries, while a tablet only weighs 1-2 pounds. Pediatricians and chiropractors recommend that students carry less than 15% of their body weight in a backpack, but the combined average weight of textbooks in History, Mathematics, Science, and Reading/Language Arts exceeds this percentage at nearly all grade levels from 1-12.  According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, during the 2011-12 school year more than 13,700 kids, aged 5 to 18, were treated for backpack-related injuries.
People who read print text comprehend more, remember more, and learn more than those who read digital text.
– Tablets help students learn more material faster. Technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30-80%, according to the US Department of Education and studies by the National Training and Simulation Association.
Manufacturing tablets is environmentally destructive.
– Tablets lower the amount of paper teachers have to print for handouts and assignments, helping to save the environment and money. According to Wired, a school with 100 teachers uses on average 250,000 pieces of paper annually. A school of 1,000 students on average spends between $3,000-4,000 a month on paper, ink, and toner, not counting printer wear and tear or technical support costs.