Traditional books for traditional girls

Throughout the first month of school, Academy girls have been adjusting to the new block schedule. Most students have been very successful in this adjustment and are happy with the changes. Unfortunately, many AHN students have not found as much success when it comes to other changes, such as the increased use of e-books.

The iPads introduced to Academy last year allow students to use electronic versions of their textbooks instead of the typical hard copies. In theory, this is a great idea that permits students to carry less heavy books around with them from class to class. This can save both time and back aches.

High School Instruction Technology Specialist Mrs. Deborah Collins points out other advantages associated with e-books. “There’s so much multimedia available with some of these textbooks. It opens up a whole new avenue for learning. The publishers, instead of having a flat document that can’t be updated quickly, have the ability to update videos and other content much quicker.” Mrs. Collins also appreciates the iPad’s ability to store all books in one place instead of having multiple sources of text.

However, many AHN students miss the stability of regular textbooks. Senior Miranda Lopez laments over the unreliability of her new e-books. “I was trying to get in my Pre-Calculus book to do my homework one night, but the website was down. It’s very frustrating when things like this happen. It only adds to the stress that Pre-Calculus already causes.”

Other students have voiced concern over the high prices of many electronic books. Some e-books can only be rented for a semester at a time and at lofty prices. However, regular textbooks can usually be bought from previous owners at lowered costs, and there is always the option of selling them after use. E-books are much more limiting when it comes to this, and often expire after a certain period of time.

While electronic books offer many advantages, most AHN students are not quite ready to part with their hard copy textbooks. Adapting to e-books will probably take some time, but AHN staff and faculty are doing a great job of helping the girls with this process.