Saturday, January 4, 2014

The battle between E-Books and Text Books

While I was going to school we were just starting our technological journey with the internet. Our school had gotten new computer, which at that time were blue screens with white letters on the screen. It was an exciting time. The internet had just been created and we were eager to explore. I remember that you could look up topics and it would give you information pages, and that there were chat rooms where you could talk to people from all over the world. But there were limitations on this fun. You had to wait for your dial-up connection which felt like it took forever and sometimes you couldn’t connect right away and also if you didn’t have two phone lines (I was not one of the lucky ones!) you would get booted off and have to start the login process again. Today I see my kids jump on the computer and instantly they are signed into a room full of other kids where if the teacher wanted she could turn on the web cams and everyone could see each other. Within seconds. It is amazing, but so scary at the same time. You have predators put there and so you have to tech your kids the rules of the internet and what information that they shouldn’t give out. I love the wealth of knowledge that my children have at their fingertips. They are able to have experiences without having to travel anywhere or leave the comforts of home. We can view animals live from zoos in California! Not only can they read information but they can see it too. My oldest son started using the DVD player when he was too and now he is a computer whiz. This also is great, but there are definite downfalls to this too. Some of my children this year do not have a text book or a workbook, everything is on the computer. Part of me loves this and part of me loathes this. I understand the whys, but if the power should go out all the information they need is gone and as someone who homeschools multiple children and a toddler, I cannot just go to the library or somewhere where there is a working computer. Sometimes my kids complain about their eyes hurting from looking at the computer screen. I have also caught my “computer whiz” trying to play games instead of doing schoolwork. Sometimes I wish I could see their faces instead of the back of their heads! Whether you are for using just computer books or E-books, the truth of the matter is that technology will just keep advancing. We don’t have to like it but it is just part of our culture.

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