From Textbooks to Tablets in Schools

From Textbooks to Tablets in Schools






From Textbooks to Tablets in Schools

With the technological advancements in the twenty first century, there is a global drift towards a paperless system. The education sector in the United States of America embraced this as well, especially through the integration of technology in the K12 education system. Mobile application technology, particularly tablets is a good alternative to print media such as textbooks, and provides many new ways in which classroom content can be delivered to learners. In an evolving world with emerging trends and needs, mobile technology is gaining ground and popularity in the education sector. This purpose of this paper is to explore the role of multimedia in the classroom, the advantages and disadvantages of the use of multimedia in learning and the impact of multimedia on student learning and performance. This is a persuasive essay on the need to replace textbooks with tablets in the education system. Because of the overall opportunity for better grades, ease of transporting and a much more interactive learning experience, tablets should replace textbooks in schools. 

Multimedia learning is incorporation of audiovisual materials to aid the usual print media in learning. states that people learn more deeply from words that are spoken, pictures like videos, animations and illustrations as well as print media, than from words alone. This leads to construction of knowledge from words and pictures. The use of words only to pictures is not an appropriate way only to channel and enhance learning through multimedia, but sound and motion creates relativity hence a deeper connection to both teachers and students. The use of technology requires focus and a steady mind and not split attention. One-time presentation of information together of related content makes education and learning more effective visually.

There are three assumptions to support learning via multimedia, which includes Mayer’s cognitive theory that states that learning is a continuous and ongoing process of organizing and integrating information. Another assumption is the dual coding theory that enables audio and visual creation of information in two mediums. The final assumption is that every medium has its own storage and measure.

Multimedia education has greatly contributed in current classroom where teachers no longer dictate facts to students but extend their knowledge and ask questions. The use of tablets, iPod, computers and iPad create a new atmosphere as compared to use of print media or textbooks. Teachers currently help to promote thinking and act as supporters. Teachers are able to apply the twelve principles of multimedia learning from  to create different multimedia projects and lessons to their students. This facilitates creativity and change in learning process and makes classroom an exciting place for students to grow, learn and equip them with lifetime skills to enhance their future careers.

Advantages of multimedia learning includes acquiring and giving information real time, easy use and access of information, and the fact that mobile application technology saves on both storage and time. The portability and ability to share classroom content is much better when multimedia is used in learning. Use of multimedia in education has enabled online classes that are more convenient for learners. The disadvantages include loneliness, extreme expenses and technical hitches. Multimedia education excludes the social structure hence leading to individualism; it also fails to incorporate principles of effective learning. It can also aid in misled purposes; this is where instead of influencing positively by adding value then it ruins an individual. For instance, when technology acts as a source to do what is against the law for example inciting people politically in one’s country it may result to being jailed and survivor punishments . It is evident that use of multimedia in learning has more benefits as compared to disadvantages.

Multimedia learning has improved delivery of classroom content, which resulted in higher performance among students. The use of visual aiding materials like computers and projectors enables audience view and receive information mentally and physically. An example, in classes such as geography, students are in position to view physical features through graphics. In addition, education is made simpler since students can personally relate to events therefore they see the relevance of skills provided. However, the use of multimedia in learning has led to negative effect on student attendance in that presence of online slides created by PowerPoint has created negative effect on physical classroom attendance.

Use of technology simplifies the teachers work to a facilitator. Delivery of classroom content is made easier and the visual appeal created by use of multimedia may capture the attention of students, as opposed to print media. Multimedia learning is easy to use and therefore it frees the teacher from routine tasks. Also, reduces the training cost to teachers and students where a fee is required to equipping students with computer skills and labor costs for the trainers. Multimedia messages brings much attention to audience since it integrates all forms of audio, and visual as well as graphics so students prefer multimedia learning to traditional learning. It makes learning easy than collecting information from different print media from either the library or educational institutions.

Introduction of technology on learning has affected a lot in the society, educational facilities, teachers and students both positively and negatively. Use of multimedia has exposed a high volume of students than ever before which leads to both high and low performance depending on the usage. Technology has taken away valuable learning time in classrooms today since handling students with different skills level hence have to be equipped with adequate skills and knowledge first to avoid technical troubles, internet access may be another problem in impoverished areas will call for educating students in technology more learning time is then required. When technology is overused, it may lead to student distraction on what should be learned best mentally and physically during an interactive study. Most students use computers playing games making the teachers face problems during teaching and instructions. The cost of acquiring and maintaining mobile devices to be used in education may be high for both the student and the teacher . This may be one of the hindrances in the call for replacing textbooks with tablets in schools.

In conclusion, the development and application of technology is growing in the current classroom, which plays an important role in shaping, and general performance in learning and acquisition of cognitive knowledge. Use of multimedia creates a favorable platform to all kinds of students and support all with different styles of learning. When teaching using technology, teachers or instructors must be aware of the hindrances can bring to the learning process. The Departments of Education in various states should regulate learning using technology in order to equalize and achieve high performance as expected on standard tests. Strategies on good use of multimedia should be enforced and practiced for positive results in learning process. To achieve effectiveness including multimedia on student learning should act as a tool to boost understanding and contribute towards information processing.


Heejung, A. (2014). Tablets in K-12 Education: Integrated Experiences and Implications: Integrated Experiences and Implications. IGI Global.

Keengwe, J. (2014). Promoting Active Learning through the Integration of Mobile and Ubiquitous Technologies. IGI Global.

Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia Learning. Cambridge University Press.

Toyama, K. (2011, January 6). Educational Technology Debate. Retrieved from