Since the advent of the Internet and the information age, books and printed media has seen a distinct shift from bookstores to laptops, iPhones and other hand held devices. Because of how much more affordable this method of information is in comparison to printing books, it’s small wonder why many colleges and students are turning to e-books and the Internet to access vast amounts of information as a fraction of the cost at half the effort.
The Cushing Academy in New England is one of the campuses on the fore-front of this change. The Headmaster of the Academy, James Tracy, took the initiative to phase out their printed archive of books and publication. Instead, Cushing Academy has decided to create what has been dubbed an “information center” which aims to provide students with the same (if not more) resources, at a fraction of the cost typically required to maintain a traditional library. Because many computers and hand held devices can store hundreds, if not thousands of novels, stories, essays and other information, for James Tracy, the decision was not a difficult one to make.
Naturally there is debate out there about how this will change education if this type of shift occurs. Most Americans remember their educational experience being encompassed with books, and some would be inclined to say they are better off because of it, but it’s hard to say whether or not this digital transition of education will have any real effect on the way education is done in America. However, when one considers the amount of money saved-not the mention the environmental impacts of saving paper, manpower, and the electricity required to illuminate and air condition a library, the choice does not seem to be such a bad move.
Although Cushing Academy is the first to make such a bold move, it should be understood that this is a prep school whose students tend to come from well-to-do backgrounds, making it easier to purchase the laptops and electronic apparatuses needed to fulfill Tracy’s dream of a book-less library. Whether or not this idea will translate to public schools remains to be seen, but as technology continues to progress, it is easy to assume laptops and hand held devices will become more affordable and available to all kinds of students across the states.
Needless to say the leap Cushing Academy has made marks a big change in the way information may shared and how education may be done. Some would say the old ways are best, while others would purport that the Internet is something to take better advantage of, and can save a tremendous amount of time, resources and money for schools and universities everywhere.