I'm going to be honest. Most of the time when I see a student with a new school book I think to myself, "What a waste." And here is why I think so. It's simple. How much did it cost to make the book? Just thinking about that number pisses me off. Here's why. If they need to update the book--which could happen--how much will that cost? Well, the same amount as the original book if not more. They don't even completely rewrite the whole book. Imagine buying a fiction book. Would you honestly want to buy another book for $25 more for a few extra pages? Well that is what is happening. And while people with very little foresight like to say that's how it is, I'm going to go ahead and say, no, it's not. It doesn't have to be. I've been thinking of a solution. Are you ready for this? Tablets. There. I said it.
The amazon tablet is going to cost about $100 give or take. This means, assuming it has a reader component on it, if distributed, students can have all of their books uploaded to the tablet device. Because the books would be electronic any updates could be distributed throughout the district in minutes at basically no cost. And this process could happen indefinitely. Not all math books, but a number of them would be usable. Basically, all literature.
I can hear the naysayers now, talking about set up costs and what not. Listen, down the line, we're literally (no pun intended) saving billions. Think of all the paper that doesn't need to be printed. Think of all the distribution costs saved in a five year period, in a ten year period and just to add to it, I did some research. It's not a new idea.
South Korea is arming its entire country with Samsung Galaxy tablets, meanwhile converting all textbooks to electronic. Their goal is to have a complete change over by 2015, giving every household if not every child a device. They will be prepared to give the students the most up-to-date information and they'll be ready to update to any new program with content included. They will literally have new information years before our kids. Meanwhile we're printing, basically, on papyrus.
Just sayin. Just sayin.
ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU! I actually worked in the for profit education system for a good ten years, IT Guy, and saw first hand the complete waste of money that soooooo many text books are. Rarely actually used and yes updated with the most minor changes! It's a big hustle. Don't get me wrong, I believe in reading and in the publishing of information, but the old system is soooo outdated.
The thing is, it makes money still. This system will be one that dies very hard, and even when it does, who knows how much they'll charge for even just the electronic updates. It's just like everything else in business; "We'll get em on the come back"...
Great topic though!
Real good topic man. Tablets are the way to go indeed. I don't own a tablet, but I can see the use of having one. Sometimes I'm in meetings and countless times I'll think to myself, "Man, if I had a tablet, I wouldn't have to write all this down..."
I remember reading about an 8th grade algebra class in Long Beach received iPads to handle their homework and other classroom duties. You have a good point that it will be very beneficial in the long run, and it will be more convient. For example, if I have eight classes, instead of a book for each class (which vary in weight) I'll only need one tablet that can will the school books needed plus more.
That's pretty tight what South Korea is doing. Not sure if America will get on that ship anytime soon. Although, I'm sure there are some pilot programs floating around in our education system.
My prediction is that our kids, barely the next generation, will be looking for work, not necessarily in other states, but in other countries. What we're teaching our kids is simply some shit from almost one hundred years ago. We need designers, in the U.S. not developing books, but developing apps for education and we need jobs in those areas. We need to force companies like Apple to produce in the states and develop in the states, and we need curriculum to reflect such a thing. We need local sports leagues that pay a worthwhile salary, and we need education to go there too. If you think the NFL is big, think about all the jobs by having a ten to twelve team baseball, football, soccer league. We need to get these things going both for revenue, and if you talk to most recreation majors they'll tell you, people have to have this type of stuff to be healthy. We need more youth business minded and with opportunities.
But right now there are people who truly think that if our kids don't learn cursive writing that something is wrong. We don't need to create new revenue streams. We need to exploit the potential ones we already have. Recreation, entertainment, technology, education. This is where the money should be made.
Man, droppin' science. Especially about the hundred year old shit we're teaching in school and in society today. It's getting to a point where those "old school" traditions are valued as much nowadays.
Compared to even 20 years ago, there's more opportunity to be more entrepreneurial or take a more unorthodox path in academics, and that's mainly because of technologies. I know when certain grocery stores open up in cities, labor agreements are signed that the developer and tenant will do X% of local hiring. Maybe that should be required from companies like Apple and other American technology corporations.