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Snow Day eBook

While not actually an ebook issue, this concept is one that does support the ebook application. Where I live we don't have snow days, but we do have storm days, such as hurricane/tropical storm days, that can cause schools to be shut down before (if it ever) gets here. Most students would only take home a book for a class if that book  was needed to do some homework or other assignment. Considering the an average weight for a textbook to be about 3.5 pounds and a student having six classes a day that would amount to  21 pounds just for the textbooks that the student would have to carry home in anticipation of a possible storm closure. That doesn't take into account other materials, such as their own notebooks, calculators, etc. If schools switched to digital textbooks then a single device, such as Amazon's Kindle (0.5 lbs), would be able to contain all the associated textbooks along with other readings, and a student would be able to carry it on a regular basis - which would also work well for a number of schools that I know of that are getting rid of student lockers. In this case a student with their notebook and their device (most likely a weight less than a single textbook) would be able to carry all the needed materials with them in a small backpack all the time. This idea would also be more healthy to students as according to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, children shouldn't carry more than 10% of their body weight (meaning that students with the 21 lbs of books should mass at at least 210 lbs - not exactly a healthy weight for most middle school students). As long as the textbook is one of education's main resources, then it would provide to schools a number of advantages to begin the process to switch to digital text. One that I remember often was that students had left their book at home when we needed it in class, or them saying that they had left their book at school and had been unable to do the homework. To me moving to a single device than can hold all their books, is very portable and interactive - and could be used on snow or other storm days just makes sense.

Should virtual learning be used to replace snow days?
More schools are considering virtual learning as an alternative to snow days that encroach on preparation for standardized tests in the spring or threaten to lengthen the school year. Some educators use Skype or YouTube to connect students with lessons when school is closed, while other options include assignments posted on teacher websites or directing students to activities on external sites. Despite the increasing use, concerns remain about equal access to computers and the Internet for poor students or those in rural areas. Google/The Associated Press (5/17)


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