Editorial: Lockers vs. online textbooks

*Sigh* *Clump Clump*

This is the sound of a Bay Farm Middle School student walking across campus, while carrying a 15- to 25-pound backpack, almost a third of their weight.

There has to be a solution to the issue of too-heavy backpacks at BFMS, that doesn’t require teachers to change their teaching methods.

Actually, there are two main solutions rivaling each other: Lockers, and online textbooks.

Finding a place to put lockers at Bay Farm would be a challenge, and what good would they do? Students would still need to take home their heavy textbooks to do homework.

Online textbooks, however, are easily accessible, as our BYOD policy means that middle school students always have laptops, Chromebooks or tablets with them. Also, if everything is on the Cloud, lost textbooks would no longer be a problem. Assignments and items could be turned in easily using Google Classroom and sharing. A student could work on an item, while the teacher watches them, or checks in occasionally.

Along with reducing backaches, changing to online textbooks would mean that textbooks would never again have outdated material since they could be digitally updated, which would save the district money. Students could click links to find out more about what interests them, which would make them more engaged in their learning.

The 6th grade is already using an online math workbook, and there are online versions of the 6th and 7th grade social studies, though they are not accessible to students yet.

The 8th grade has already gone mostly paperless, and their backpacks weigh a reasonable weight. Perhaps the rest of the middle school needs to make the final leap, too. 

Online textbooks are probably the best solution for BFMS, over lockers and heavy textbooks. What do you think? Let us know below. You can also watch our video interviews of some BFMS students.

SofiaSofia Coffin is a staff writer for The Dolphin Tail. Her editorial represents the collective opinion of The Dolphin Tail newspaper staff and does not intend to represent the views of any other person or persons, including Bay Farm School and its staff or administration, or the Alameda Unified School District. Opinion submissions from Bay Farm’s school community, staff and students (of all grades) are welcome and will be considered; send to the editor at BayFarmDolphinTail@gmail.com.

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