iPad vs. textbook: Students weigh in on technology

TUCSON, Arizona (KVOA) — In Ms. Mustard’s sophomore geometry class at Tucson, Arizona’s San Miguel High School, students learned a lot of lessons this year and we’re not just talking numbers.

“At first people were like, ‘oh how do I use this?’, but I think now it’s more like second nature,” says Sophomore Jose Estrella.

Estrella is talking about using the iPad, instead of a textbook in his English, social studies, science and math classes. He’s one of about 20 sophomores who took part in a pilot program this year, where they traded in their textbooks for technology.

It was all made possible by a $10,000 donation from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation.

Estrella says the iPad makes life easier and it’s not just because it’s less heavy than a book.

“If you have a term to look up, or if you need to look up a formula, it’s really easy because you can just go to the search bar, look it up, then it goes to that chapter,” Estrella says.

It’s more interactive than just looking at a piece of paper, which is something Ms. Mustard and other teachers had to get used to as well. “Definitely when you’re learning to teach from a piece of technology you’ve never used before, there’s always a learning curve there,” Ms. Mustard says.

But she’s looking forward to using the technology more in the future and so is the school.

An e-textbook can cost as little as $15, whereas a traditional textbook can cost more than $100.

Starting next year, San Miguel seniors will use the iPads, instead of the sophomores. Administrators say the technology will be best geared toward the older students, who are about to attend college.

San Miguel hopes to one day provide iPads for all of its students.

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