I'd like to know students' reactions
I am a student, parent, Scout leader, and I hate paper anything. Books are heavy and I avoid them whenever possible. Some textbooks, that I have had to buy for myself), have either a downloadable version or include a soft copy. When that happens, the book remains at home. I have been able to get a whole semester with just a laptop and an iPad. But a laptop and an iPad weigh about the same as my daughter's history book. I do almost everything electronically, even my math assignments. (Did you know there is a math add-in for Word?) Yes, I can do my calculus assignments and supporting math for my economics masters courses in Word. Writing essays are great as well, heck even add in a Bluetooth keyboard and that adds maybe half a pound.
So my bag is way, way lighter than my daughter's bag. The hand truck statement above is correct. My mother takes our son to soccer practice, directly from school. When they come home, I have to go to my mother's car to get my son's book bag. In other words the bag is so heavy that an adult has difficulty carrying it. This cannot be healthy for growing children. This also causes the bags to have short lifetimes. Neither my son nor my daughter have had a bag lasted the entire school year. My bag has lasted three years and is still going.
Picture this as well, waiting for the bus, take out you iPad and read your assignments (ok, I have a car, but my children take the bus); bus comes, put it back in the bag. On the other hand, what is the likelihood that you take out a 4 pound textbook to read and have to put it back when the bus arrives? I would say, nearly zero. This is not just the bus, what about waiting for someone, waiting for the doctor/dentist, waiting for a seat in a restaurant? The tablet is easy to put away when whoever you are waiting for arrives. We eat at places that don't take reservations and you just have to wait in line. I can't imagine my daughter and/or son lugging textbooks to a restaurant line, which I'll probably have to carry. Right now, my son's and my daughter's English teachers let them use iPads (daughter) or Kindles (son) to do their reading for books assigned. That's one or more less books to carry (and they are all in their devices). Next year the whole school is going to use the iPad (teachers already have them). I can't wait for that for them, their bags will be light (and probably last the entire school year).
Has any of you children ever forgot a book, notes, highlighter at school so that they can't do their homework or study for a test? Sure they can forget the iPad at school, but since it contains not only their books, but their schedule (not just school schedules), they are less likely to forget them; it is essentially their lifeline.
Every one of the comments above is an adult who went through school with books, and prefer books to ebooks. But if you grow up with ebooks, that will be your standard. As far as referring to books every now and then, what happens if you're not at home? How much space do you have? I've actually gone as far as re-buying books and donated my paper books to book fairs and the library. I had five book shelves (floor to ceiling), but now I've gotten that down to one (mainly for books where the author has signed them) and a few foreign language books (all four of us are at least bilingual, but my daughter and I are trilingual) that I can't get in ebook format, but Android (I also have an Android tablets - one is a Nook with N2A card) is a little better for those that I do have in ebook form. Also, I have a few things for display (since I have lived in several countries). In addition to all I do, I read about a book a week (mainly in lieu of TV, where I only watch documentaries, and if I do watch those, most are on my iPad or Android tablets.
The last thing, is that I have a science book that is in ebook form. It also has video clips instead of just pictures. So, much better since the book is on quantum mechanics. Show me a paper book that can do that.