Does it make sense to keep on using text books in the connected school?

Image: James Walsh

Text books have become such a big business that publishing houses still defend their validity in the present day. In the meantime, parents complain not only about the considerable expense but also the actual physical weight our children end up having to carry on their backs. The alternative has been obvious for years: move on to a model with digitized textbooks which are available in electronic formats and that apparently offer many advantages and few problems.

The problems of a range of technologies in schools are the subject of various analyzes. For example, there are studies showing that the comprehension of texts read on paper is greater than that offered by our e-book readers, tablets and laptops screens. Others suggest that introducing laptops into the classroom distracts students and argue for the use of paper and pen over keyboard and screen .

Yet the benefits of introducing digital texts seem inescapable, as this article claims by citing the benefits for teachers – who would have access to more varied sources – and for the students who would “enjoy greater continuity between their daily life at home, out and about and in the classroom-.

There is strong criticism of textbooks which some teachers and professionals qualify as eroneous, but which at the same time do not recommend digital versions. They point out that they would have the same problems and limitations of a format that “encapsulates knowledge” rather than using current technological tools to “learn to search.”

And against all this, there are currents in education that support not only the use of technology, but also of free sources and tools (with Open Source as a base). This, in fact, has already been done in several schools in the United States and also in our country, where regions such as Extremadura and Andalusia are already veterans in incorporating these tools. Open systems are also an excellent option for developing countries where projects like One Laptop Per Child have been trying for years to offer low-cost laptops as the perfect aide in child and youth education.

It seems obvious that the information society offers the opportunity for a radical change in the educational system. However, there are too many interests, established uses and habits that make this leap difficult.

The mSchools programme is a multi-faceted mEducation initiative by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in collaboration with The Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall and GSMA.
Launched in 2013, mSchools supports students and teachers effectively integrating mobile technologies into the classroom. Mobile enables access to up-to-date materials, improves collaboration and strengthens learner engagement, opening up new ways of teaching and learning that improve achievement and employability.
The mSchools programme brings together private and public institutions to help students build important new skills and prepare them for today’s digital world.

Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.

Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.

MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.

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