In high school the two worse days of the year were the first day textbooks were issued and the day they were collected. Textbooks were always too large, too bulky and there’s absolutely no way to look cool with 80-lbs. of dead trees strapped to your back or on a sling, but is a school system as large and as diverse as NYC’s really ready for an all-tablet textbook program?
According to City Council speaker, Christine Quinn, the New York City Public School system is ready for just that. In the Speaker’s outline for education, she made mention of being able to not only move the city’s 1.1 million public school students to tablet-based textbooks, but cited that costs would be offset by the current costs of supplying paper textbooks (reportedly $100M per year).
Obviously these are probably not hard numbers and don’t take into consideration various factors including the school’s archaic policy on electronic devices which would have to change the Board of Ed’s security protocols as well. Having been a product of the NYC public education system, I don’t see this having legs to stand on but it would be in the best interest of the city to get with the times and offer some real technology education. Tablet-based learning is a start but until they’re coupling tablet textbooks with app building it may just be a cosmetic change.