The E-Book & E-Reader Effect

Digital textbooks are an increasingly a more viable option for students. More college and university campuses are providing alternative options to a full-price, paid textbook. As textbook access options increase with rental and electronic format, learning resources become widely distributed to students.

In thinking about how I want to learn, I opted for 2 hardcopy (and expensive) textbooks – as I thought there would be some value in keeping these two “on the shelf” for future reference. The other required books I borrowed or found copies online, and the remaining reading materials were online journals and articles. Surprisingly, I have yet to purchase an e-reader, nor do I own a tablet (yet), so much of my reading of the digital books are either on my computer at work, laptop at home or smartphone when in transit.

The head of the IT department sent us this e-mail last week, which got me interested and questioning e-books, e-readers and all things “e” for today’s student [click image below to view]:

This got me thinking –

  • How do students best learn with digital textbooks?
  • Does this shape the curriculum in higher education when textbooks are mandatory, and e-books are more accessible for financial reasons?
  • What is the success rate for students who study with e-books?
  • Why are students printing digital books?
  • What is the learning curve for reading e-books vs. printed texts?

Here are just a few articles and posts about e-books & e-readers which are helping me review my options for e-books in higher education:

http://www.educause.edu/ELI/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutEBook/156823

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-09-17-ihe-bookless-library_N.htm

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0822.pdf

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123980920727621353.html

http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/07/27/2365696/e-textbooks-more-popular-in-texas.html

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-08-10-ebooklearning10_CV_N.htm

http://www.educause.edu/Resources/Browse/EBooks/30539

Faculty/students/staff – Please share your thoughts on e-books, e-readers and digital textbooks in higher education.

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