Following reports of concern among parents at the use of tablets as primary learning tools in a school in Co Meath, people have been weighing in on social media, both to criticise the technology and advocate for it.
Just over two thirds of the 1,414 respondents to a Twitter poll on RTÉ News this afternoon said they would like to see books being used as the primary learning tool for their teens.
📱📚🤔— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 31, 2019
A group of parents has raised concerns about the use of tablets as a primary learning tool in place of books in a secondary school in Co Meath.
Read the story here: https://t.co/rLwE1pexkW
What would you like to see as the primary learning tool for your teens?
While the poll is of course not scientific, some of the responses cast some light on what people think about tablets.
Several people expressed concern over the cost of tablets, though one reader argued that they could actually be cheaper over the course of a student’s time in secondary school.
Tablets are easier to update with new syllabus - one tablet for 5-6 years is probably more cost effective. Tablets for school should only be for school and there definitely needs to be thought given to how they can be used in a disruptive manner— Conz (@Mariocaprisun) May 31, 2019
One reader observed that engineers at many tech companies restrict their children’s screen time, while another highlighted a study which has found that students learn better from books than screens.
However, many of the respondents argued that technology is here to stay, and schools should be preparing students for the real world.
Cut down on paper waste 🌳🌳🌳— Shauna B-Money (@ShaunaBMoney) May 31, 2019
Another made a case for the environmental advantage tablets offer, while several people mentioned the weight of schoolbags full of books.
Remember being 12 or 13 years old having to carry around several kilos of books on your back? Why would you want future generations doing that too? Tablets are the way forward— StephenJMScott (@StephenJMScott) May 31, 2019
One thing is clear – the debate over books versus tablets isn’t going to go away any time soon.