students use tablets while a teacher looks on

Should Tablets be Included on Back-to-School Shopping Lists?

Every year, parents shell out hundreds of dollars for back-to-school shopping, and every year it seems like the list grows. Many schools are now adding tablets to back-to-school lists as well. So the question is, are tablets just an unnecessary expense or a valuable addition to the list? Should all students be required to purchase a tablet for school?

Con: Distraction

Unless schools monitor each and every student’s tablet, chances are students will be playing Candy Crush while the teacher assumes they’re taking notes. Distraction has always been the number one argument teachers have against tablets and laptops in the classroom. Apps, games, and social media make it too easy for students to get distracted.

Pro: Cuts Down on Supplies

Calculators, notebooks, and textbooks? There are apps for that. Think about all of the money you could save each year by replacing numerous school supplies with one tablet. Tablets can be a bit pricey, but if you’re purchasing one as a substitution for everything else on the back-to-school list, it could be totally worth it.

Con: Tablets are Expensive

Not everyone can afford the same things. What may seem like an inexpensive purchase to one family may be out of the question for another. Tablets begin around $300, and it’s seemingly unfair to require every single student to purchase something so expensive.

Pro: Less to Carry

Heavy backpacks have concerned parents for years. By replacing textbooks, binders, and notebooks with tablets, students would have a considerably less amount of weight to lug around eight hours a day.

Con: Technical Difficulties

Taking notes with paper and a pen or pencil is easy. Multitasking on tablets, on the other hand, is not always easy for everyone. Some students may not have the technological skills that others do, and this could potentially become a problem. Just imagine the time it would take a teacher to fix each problem that arises when 20 plus students are working on their tablet. Teachers may also be flooded by emails a received when a student has a problem submitting an assignment. Tablets in the classroom could easily become a nightmare.