On eBooks and the End of Creative Teaching

Our Paul Bonner ponders the end of creative teaching, but takes comfort in the fact that ebooks won’t replace textbooks any time soon.

Just when I’d concluded that the infographic genre as a whole was was as intellectually nourishing as cotton candy, along comes this one.

There’s no doubt that Apple iPads, Kindles, and other intelligent devices can be useful tools in a classroom. And years ago, I wrote some stirring articles calling for their presence in every school. But that was before I subjected my own kids to public schools in Texas -– where we’ve had the “benefit” of standardized testing and the mind-numbingly awful curricula that administrators adopt to support it -– far longer than the rest of the country.

It’s clear to me now, that in an era dominated by shrinking education budgets, ever-increasing class sizes, and standardized testing regimens that crush any attempt at creative teaching in the mindless pursuit of higher scores, it is unconscionable to consider investing education dollars in these expensive and fragile gadgets.

Unfortunately, I have no doubt that it will happen anyway as lobbyists for hardware vendors line up alongside the purveyors of those standardized tests and workbooks to convince school boards that they can get something for nothing. Even as another generation endures 12 years of public education without ever learning how to think, or being given any reason to view learning as anything but a chore.

Other articles by Paul Bonner: On the Growing Irrelevance of Microsoft
Amazon Kindle and Competitors: Terrible Tablets or Terrible Journalism


  • Thanks Ant — it’s somebody’s fire, but not mine. This started off as a 213 word, 2 paragraph comment on the infographic linked above — you can still see my original comment there if you’re interested. Whoever decided to turn it into a separate story without telling me also butchered the edit and added 125 words that I didn’t write to the original.

    I may get fired up at times, but generally my writing is still somewhat comprehensible — unlike say the tail end of paragraph #3 above, the entirety of paragraph #4, and the bizarre bit that someone added after the em-dash in paragraph #5, where it appears that the editor believed that throwing in another mention of Apple was more useful to the story than the nuanced conditions within which I had originally wrapped the first half of that line, and without which I’m embarrassed to see those words published under my name.