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Technology Makes Textbooks Lighter For Future Elementary Students.

906 words - 4 pages

Future Textbooks:Textbooks have changed much over the past century. We have evolved from theearly primers, to Dick and Jane, to modern textbooks that cover today's abundant supplyof curriculum standards. While the numerous amounts of standards have increased overthe past few years, so has the weight of the textbooks.Today's elementary school textbooks are the size and weight of college level books ofa few years ago. Along with this extra weight comes a burden that might not have beenenvisioned twenty-five years ago. Today's young school children are being subjected toinjuries that have brought about much controversy over the past several years. I am ofcourse talking about backpack injuries.Since 1997, Weekly Reader magazine has conducted studies on the average weight ofbackpacks of fourth graders in the United States. The average weight during thisperiod has been close to eight pounds. (Weekly Reader March 2002) Some fourth gradershave even said they have carried as much as fifty pounds of textbooks and schoolsupplies in their backpacks at times. (Weekly Reader March 2002)When you consider the average textbook weighs over two pounds and each student has atextbook in at least five subjects, it is easy for the weight of the textbooks to total over therecommended weight of fifteen percent as stated by the American Occupational TherapyAssociation in their recommended guidelines (Backpack Strategies February 18).There is a solution to these problems related to heavy textbooks. We are at a point in our technology that we can start the process of converting our textbooks to digital media sources. There are many schools and districts that have done just that.Warren Consolidated Schools in Sterling Heights, MI is one of the school systems taking this modern approach to learning. When middle school students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade were issued standard math textbooks, they also got a CD-ROM that contains the contents of the entire textbook: every chapter, lesson, and problem. McDougal Littell, the textbook publisher, also offers an Internet site where students can go for extra help with problems. McDougal also offered parents an access code to get online for $6.99. The code provided interactive math help with a PowerPoint tutorial. (The Detroit Press January 8, 2004)Not every textbook company offers a CD-ROM with their textbooks but some do. This is something school districts should consider when purchasing textbooks.Just as McDougal Littell has offered a PowerPoint tutorial online, this is another medium that might be considered in a future school setting. Online tutorials might be widely available from some of the best educators in the world. While these presentations could be of benefit to some secondary schools, elementary students still need that one-on-one tutoring that is so important in their developing years.Another way students might...

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