Towards the electronic slate!
Our Readers' Opinions
October 26, 2012
Towards the electronic slate!

Fri, Oct 26, 2012

Editor: “Save a tree. Don’t print this email unless it’s really necessary”. This line appears on every email I receive from captain Steve Ollivierre, whenever he sends our organisation an invitation to provide service for their automobile racing events, for which the Rainbow Radio League Inc provides vital communications services.{{more}}

It is based on the opening line that I want to address an issue raised in the Searchlight a few days ago, highlighting the number of heavy books our youngsters have to tote to school on a daily basis, and the adverse effect it can have over time on the spines of our young children, who sometimes have to walk close to a mile with this educational load.

It is a known fact that repeated actions in whatever we do, in the long run, can have adverse effects; e.g. persons who work at a computer without ergonomic breaks can end up with carpel tunnel syndrome; persons who BBM constantly are now ending up with ‘BB fingers’; drivers and other persons who have sedentary jobs can suffer from haemorrhoids and the list can go on. Looming on the horizon will probably be the ‘knapsack back’, or ‘hunchback’, the result of toting heavy books, which can lead to spinal deformation, slipped discs or even hip and knee problems.

A number of the world’s leading newspapers and periodicals are now moving to soft copies of their publications for several reasons: surveys of their main market show that more than 80 per cent of their readership own a smart phone, tablet computer, e-reader, laptop or PC which can access their publications; there is an urgent call by environmentalists to stop cutting our forests, and a reduction in the use of paper for printing will also reduce the demand to cut trees to make paper. The reasons to save our forests are manifold and legitimate, but advances in technology are the main reason why publishers are moving from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’ copies of their periodicals.

Right here in sweet Vincy, the ‘Vincentian” and “Searchlight” already have an ‘online’ version of their journal … a step in the right direction, but it will be a while before any of these periodicals put away newsprint for good. Some school texts now come with a soft copy for their workbook and soon, with the ‘laptop revolution’ gaining momentum, it is just a matter of time before each student will have all subject texts loaded on their hard drive, obviating the need to lug around heavy knapsacks. However, there will be one proviso, since one computer will have all your school work, research and texts, the onus will be on the owner to guard your device well, back up important files regularly, prevent your device from getting wet or falling and avoid websites that introduce viruses that can cause your computer to malfunction and crash.

At the moment, the school laptops serve in the main as home entertainment devices; when they are loaded with texts, typing programs and educational games, these devices can then be described as portals to information and higher learning.

Don DeRiggs