Are Digital Textbooks a Practical Option?

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It’s already taking shape nicely as far around the world as Kenya, where devices are slowly taking over traditional educational media such as textbooks. Laptops and even tablet PCs allow for learners and students to have a little bit more of a convenient way of carrying around their learning tools since something like an iPad can substitute all the textbooks and writing materials which the schooling system has otherwise become accustomed to.

For some reason however, beyond the technology used in laboratories, computer centres, student portals and libraries, at the tertiary education level there still seems to be a preference for traditional, big and bulky textbooks which are effectively only really useful for one semester.They’re extremely expensive as well and one would be suitably justified in thinking that bookstores are taking full advantage of the fact that you don’t have much choice by way of having to buy a specific set of prescribed textbooks. When the faculty heads speak about the required prescribed textbooks, the option of digital textbooks in the form of e-(text)books hardly every comes up, if at all. Are digital textbooks a viable option though?

They’re extremely expensive as well and one would be suitably justified in thinking that bookstores are taking full advantage of the fact that you don’t have much choice by way of having to buy a specific set of prescribed textbooks. When the faculty heads speak about the required prescribed textbooks, the option of digital textbooks in the form of e-(text)books hardly every comes up, if at all. Are digital textbooks a viable option though?

Availability

The digital version of anything is always cheaper than the physical version, so it would definitely save you quite a bit of money if all the textbooks you bought for your studies were in digital format. Going beyond the preference of feeling the pages of a physical book in your hands, what you’ll have to contend with is your eye’s ability to stare at what is effectively a form of computer screen for long hours on end.There are indeed some special devices which fall nothing short of looking like they’re displaying the pages of a real book through what looks like a window instead of

There are indeed some special devices which fall nothing short of looking like they’re displaying the pages of a real book through what looks like a window instead of screen, such as a specific version of the Kindle from Amazon.

Otherwise you’ll have no trouble finding an electronic version of just about every book published, and so your markedly reduced costs would encompass the one-time cost of buying the reading device (such as a Kindle, iPad or other tablet / laptop), along with the markedly reduced costs of your prescribed books’ electronic versions.

Compliance

Engineering students in particular often refer to some of their exams being open-book tests, so it might be a problem if you tried to sneak in something like a tablet or laptop, with the legitimate claim that you have an electronic version of the book you’re allowed to bring in. If enough students choose to go digital with their textbooks though, some official steps to make provisions for this can be taken.

You’ll otherwise save a tonne of money on what can be very expensive textbooks, leaving you with more free money to channel into other aspects of your student life.

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About Author

Fiona is a stay at home mum of 3 and a wfie to a city banker. In her spare time (when not looking after the kids) she enjoys running, blogging and taking the digs for long walks.

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