A Book? What is it?!

In my bookshelf there is a wonderful cyclopedia from the year 2000. Since I have my laptop I am not really using it anymore, so I thought I could sell it on Ebay. My roommate was laughing at me, saying that I wouldn’t get more than 30€ for it. I was so shocked. My mother paid 2000€ (!!!) for it. My dream of filling up my piggy bank – DESTROYED!

How come books lose their value as soon as you buy them?

This is what I asked myself right away. Firstly, on Amazon you can find all kinds of books for a penny, right? And secondly: Welcome to 2013! A world full of new technologies, full of new trends that everybody wants to have – I am talking about Tablets like iPads. Have they become the book replacement?

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Are Books becoming a thing of the past?

At the beginning of each semester, all the smart students run immediately to the library in building A, up the stairs (usually they have the patience to wait for the elevator, but not today!) to get the book for the class, because they know, there are only a few copies. And some of them are even out of date. Huh, never enough books. We could solve this problem with tablets, right? Everyone having one, that is always up to date, lighter and more space-saving than these huge books.

Are tablets the future of our education? Come on. What’s next – flying cars?

Pro's Con'sbook vs tablet

There are a couple of schools, like Roslyn High School on Long Island, that introduced tablets to their system. The students work with the textbooks installed on the iPad and it seems to be successful, if we believe the New York Times that qotes Larry Reiff, an English teacher at Roslyn: “Tablets allow us to extend the classroom beyond these four walls. It’s not about a cool application. We are talking about changing the way we do business in the classroom”.

Moreover, if we read through Margaret Rock’s blog, we learn that tablets can also save a huge amount of money.

Above all, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tested an interactive, digital iPad textbook in California’s Riverside Unified School District. Students who used the iPad scored 20% higher than students who learned with traditional textbooks. This reveals that “it is not the content that matters, but the format”.

But do they really improve learning?

However, when it comes to the long-term memory, Kate Garland, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Leicester in England, started a study and showed that people who read in printed books are better able to remember what they read than people who read from an iPad. So it’s right what scientists said: There are differences in how the brain interprets printed and digital text. Wow.

Another drawback: According to James McQuivey, the Forrester Research analyst, a tablet is like a temptress: You Tube, E Mails, Pop Ups etc.

So, let me think of my cyclopedia again. I think I might want to leave it in my shelf. The truth is, why sell it? I still like it although science is always evolving – like everything in the world is contantly developing, which is a cool thing – In a couple of years, I will show my kids this antique cyclopedia and they will be astonished. And I think till then this historical piece will be worth millions for me, cause it helped me do my homework in times where there was no Internet or Tablet.

As my former English teacher said: “Nothing beats a new book smell or that feeling of holding a new book”