By Emily Raij, Maupin House
Some people buy their Amazon Kindles and never look back. Others refuse to give up their stacks of beloved paperbacks. When it comes to reading for pleasure, it’s all about personal preference, but what about textbooks for students? Sometimes a pro and con list is the best way to analyze a new trend and its benefits and drawbacks. Please leave a comment on this blog to add to either side of the list and to the larger discussion on the digital revolution.
|Cheaper to produce||E-book readers are expensive|
|More environmentally friendly (no paper/ink)||Despite savings in printing, E-books still can’t be sold for much less than paper books due to other overhead and so that publishers aren’t undercutting themselves at bookstores|
|Immediate download for faster delivery to customers||Many customers and markets still prefer paper books|
|Potential for more creative content: audio, video, color, interactive content||Many student e-textbooks expire after a certain period of time|
|Nice features for students in particular: keyword searches, no need to lug around several heavy textbooks||Some students complain e-textbooks are awkward and inconvenient to study from|
|Content can be kept more current with e-textbooks||Students can’t highlight or write notes in e-textbooks|
|Greater portability of multiple texts||E-textbooks can’t be printed or shared like traditional texts|
|Promotes student engagement through a medium they’re familiar with||E-readers currently do not have interactive features like quizzes and video, which are what most students say they want|
|E-book costs should eventually go down and include more of the features students and others demand||E-books can’t be sold back to college bookstores the way paper textbooks can|
|More and more e-books are becoming available||Teachers don’t always like the idea of students focused on their laptops, cell phones, or e-readers during class|
For more on e-books and how they’re being used in schools and universities, check out this article from The Wall Street Journal.