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E-textbooks: Distraction or Resource?

Posted by Allison Gair on Mar 13, 2014 4:20:42 AM

Within a matter of years, textbooks may become obsolete. Over the past several years, colleges and even grade schools have made the transition from traditional textbooks to electronic textbooks. While many have concerns about E-books, professors and students should learn that E-books are a way of the future. As a college student myself, I was a little skeptical of E-books. But, after trying them out, I have learned of all the benefits that come from using an electronic textbook versus a traditional textbook.

E-books are cost efficient. Rather than spending an arm and a leg for a textbook, you can save a lot of money by buying an E-book. Some classes require students to buy a new textbook with a “course code” every semester and the students are usually not be able to return the textbook at the end of the semester. These types of textbooks have been made a lot cheaper due to electronic textbooks. As a student, I know many fellow students that choose to not buy a textbook at all because of the cost.

E-books are helpful. Some professors and students can be unconvinced by E-books because they believe printed, traditional textbooks can be more accommodating. What some people may not realize is that E-books can actually be more beneficial than the printed textbooks. E-books have expanded to even be able to “tab” pages as well as highlight sections of pages. Many E-books have now become interactive. Rather than just words and pictures on a screen, the books now include audio, video, and even self-assessment quizzes.

With the skyrocketing costs of education, many states are actually driving teachers to require electronic textbooks over traditional books. It makes it much easier for students to carry around one tablet over multiple books. Some professors are worried about electronic textbooks becoming a distraction in the classroom, but they should look at the benefits of E-books before they make any assumptions.

Personally, I was one of those that was skeptical at the thought of an electronic textbook. I thought I always preferred printed text in front of me, especially while studying. This was before I learned of all the benefits provided for students and even teachers.

Life as we know it has changed. Many places are going paperless and education is no different. Students and professors should be willing to try, not doubtful of electronic textbooks. They provide much more benefits to both students and professors than people may realize.

Topics: higher ed

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