Faith Administrators switch to online textbooks for the 2015-16 school year

An eighth grade student works hard on homework off an easy to access book on her iPad. This textbook and many others will make learning easier.

Shae Turner

An eighth grade student works hard on homework off an easy to access book on her iPad. This textbook and many others will make learning easier.

Shae Turner, Staff Writer

For the 2015-2016 academic school year, Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School’s textbooks will only be accessible on the iPads and MacBooks.

In 2014, Faith Lutheran was named an “Apple Distinguished” school, so to continue with that title, the administration decided to move forward in this electronic age.

“[The Administration] feels that it is the appropriate thing to do in a digital age,” said Middle School Principal, Sarah Harper.

When the first group of middle school students first got the iPads in 2012, one of the original purposes according to Harper, “is so students would have less books to carry in their backpacks and more books on the tablet itself.”

“We feel it’s the next appropriate step in our practice of integration of technology on our campus,” said Harper.

Mr. Scott Fogo, the high school principal, agrees with Harper. “We’ve always been trying to prepare people for college and most colleges are going to more and more eBooks,” said Fogo.

Fogo explained that Faith is switching to one main company that will provide all of the textbooks which will make things easier for the students, teachers, and parents.

Many people have concerns about the financial issues that will come with making this change. The textbook fee will be dropped,  so that drops approximately $200 off of tuition. However, students will have to pay for their textbooks online from the company, so they can have the books on their apple device. Some textbooks will only be on the apple device, but the rest will be mailed to Faith and passed out the first day of school to the students.

“Most people’s textbooks will probably cost less than $200.  Their are some [students] though, whose [books will] cost more than that,” said Fogo. The electronic textbooks have become cheaper than paperback books because less people buy the paperback books.

Some middle school students have concerns about what will happen to all of the textbooks Faith currently uses. Fogo explained that all of the textbooks will be sent back to the different companies, and those companies will redistribute or sell the textbooks.

“The books they can’t resell, they give away to poor countries that can’t afford textbooks, or poor parts of our country that can’t afford textbooks,” said Fogo.

The advantages of electronic textbooks have a great impact on all students. One main advantage of all electronic textbooks “is the textbooks will always be at students disposal from any device,” according to Harper. Also, the programs that will be used in the next academic year will be accessible from any device without wifi.

Compared to the advantages, the disadvantages are minor problems that should only occur for a short amount of time in the initial process of the setup.

“The initial setup and process for everybody is going to be a lot.” said Harper, “ It’s new, and anything that’s new has to have stress.”

Once everything on the iPad and MacBooks is setup, “everything should be easier and more efficient,” said Harper.

However, some middle school students do not welcome the change, or have mixed emotions about the technology.

“For some subjects, I’d rather have a paper textbook,” said eighth grader Sydney Anderson “Also, I think it is a negative and positive impact. A positive because we won’t be using as much paper, and a negative because some kids will use it to play games instead of actually doing the [assignments].”

Sixth grader Isabella Lucente  agrees with Anderson that having everything on one device has positive and negative consequences.

“I think it’s both, [a positive and negative impact], because it saves trees, but we shouldn’t use our iPads too much,” said Lucente.

This change also means no more excuses for losing or not completing your homework on time.

“It’s a positive impact because people can’t say they lost something on paper,” said eighth grader Isabel Retana.

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