Why no textbook at AES?

Updated: Feb 17, 2021


Discarded old textbooks and class materials sit unused in a cardboard box. Image: Mr. Currey / CC-By

When we have a class we usually use a textbook but at AES we use iPads instead. So at AES, we don’t use a textbook. But why does AES not use textbooks and use iPads and laptops instead? And what is the difference between textbooks and iPad class


When we use iPads for learning we have to know about how to have a class by the internet. We used many apps for learning. We use Google Calendar, Classroom, Zoom, Google Drive, and Powerschool. Google Calendar is used for checking your schedule and joining the Zoom, Classroom is for checking and submitting your assignments, Zoom is for joining the class online, Google Drive is for making your assignments and Powerschool is for checking your schedule, homework and a report card. There are still many other apps used for class like Bookcreator, Noodletools, Newsela, and etc.


Many schools still use textbooks for classes. There are not many things to prepare if you use the textbook for the class. Only textbooks, pens, and notebooks are needed.



To better understand why AES uses iPads instead of textbooks, I interviewed AES teachers and students.


1. Do you know when AES started using iPads or laptop?

AES tried them out some 2011-2012 and all students got them as a one-to-one device 2012-2013.

2. What do you think is the reason for using the ipad or laptop in class?

  1. Digital notebook/folder

With digital notes, you can write notes easily and quickly, and through digital folders, you can gather digital notes, photos, and etc in one place.

  1. Record data (including photos and videos)

  2. Communication

I think it's really important to understand all of the ideas and skills that go into communicating a message through audio and visual media. So much of our world communicates this way that we should know as consumers (people who receive the communication) and producers (people who communicate) what makes our messages.

  1. Research

I think the reason for students using IPADs is so that they can easily access the apps and programs they need to complete their assignments.

By using ipad and other devices, I believe it's about convenience, flexibility, incorporation of latest technology, and access to relevant information quickly if done in the right way.

  1. Reading of digital articles.(books)

  2. Creative and fun

I think it is because technology has improved so much, that there are creative and fun ways to learn using technology.

7.Well, the trend in education around the world was moving toward putting more technology directly in the hands of students, based on the belief that they not only would then have more access to resources but would also develop their tech skills without a special class just for that.


3. What are the advantages of teaching with an iPad or laptop?

That there are many free apps and tools. that the apps are always updating with new features, it saves paper, it's easy to travel with your advice, and the apps make it easy for students to engage in all sorts of activities and digital experiences. Also, there are so many resources available online. Access to data from various sources is easy for teachers to log and analyse. Easier to type and perform various functions. Easy to portable and I can usually work from anywhere.It allows us to more easily design lessons that include an array of powerful written, audio, and video resources. Also, all of our plans, materials, and tracking of student work can be accessed from anywhere (no more losing papers).It makes the lessons more fun or interesting when we can use different apps for learning.


4. What are the disadvantages of teaching with an iPad or laptop?

If you don't keep up with updates and new things, hard to follow.

That students can get distracted by their devices easily and do stuff like play games during class. Also, it leads to a loss of human connection/face to face interaction. The devices could distract us from connecting with each other and Students need to practice good digital citizenship and some may not follow the guidelines. It is suggested that humans can get addicted to the "rewards" offered by digital devices and social media. The light from devices has been said to interfere with sleep. So when students play computer games late into the night, their sleep might be disrupted. Then devices become harmful to health. We lose some social connection when we are always working on devices.


Even though many classes do not use textbooks, there are still many books in the classroom as teachers at AES strongly encourage students to read books that relate to their subject study. Image: Mr. Currey / CC-BY

5. If you were a student, would you prefer a textbook? Do you prefer an iPad or a laptop? Why do you think so?

Four out of seven teachers preferred iPads or laptops, while the other said they wanted to use both, and the other said they wanted to use them differently depending on the situation.


6. Do you think there are subjects that require textbooks? Why do you think so?

Four out of seven teachers think they don't need textbooks, and the other three think they need them.There are many reasons why it is necessary.The textbook is already recognized, it is necessary for technical subjects, and the textbook is written by a great person.


Click here to read the full transcript of the interviews



See more stories from #Jungwook here.

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