The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Get with the new age: e-books

Using digital textbooks is the superior option for learning in college.
Digital textbooks, or e-books, make life easier for students. Buying them eliminates carrying heavy books around campus.
When class is a long walk from the parking spot, it makes a difference in preventing fatigue and stress.
Besides that, e-books offer interactivity. A student can click on hyperlinks within the text to define tricky words or to guide them to a link with additional information on the topic. Videos and audio can be inserted by the author, giving the student a richer experience overall.
The search tool within e-books allows important quotations to be found immediately, as opposed to the traditional textbook where it takes hours to find that one page.
Instructors benefit from switching to digital textbooks too.
There is a limitless supply if the text is made available electronically, which means no student will complain that the bookstore ran out of copies.
In addition, The New York Times recently wrote an article highlighting CourseSmart’s new technology to track how students use their digital textbooks.
This allows professors to know how which students complete assigned readings.
Making all textbooks digital would eliminate the need to create entirely new books for small updates. Using patches allows the publisher to update their textbooks through the internet.
In turn, students do not have to worry about having the correct edition if the textbook is updated as necessary.
Of course, students need a way to read the digital textbooks. Most students already own a laptop, tablet, smartphone or e-reader.
Those who do not may argue these tools are too expensive. Yet, the cheapest ones sell for under $300, and many tablets or e-readers sell for even lower.
Admittedly, the software to read these textbooks could improve slightly. The Kindle Windows software works great with its note taking or highlighting features.
Incentivizing the switch will encourage companies to work harder to create the most student-friendly software with the least amount of bugs.
Some digital textbooks sold on Amazon and Google Play currently cost close to the physical textbook price.
This will change soon though, especially if projects such as the Open Course Library that offers free digital textbooks to anyone takes off and creates competition.
If more students support the shift to digital textbooks, it will show publishers that students take this market seriously. Any minor problems that still exist should then improve.
Consider this next time you see the choice between a digital or physical textbook. Be a part of the future, appreciate the added convenience and simply use less paper.

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Get with the new age: e-books