Saturday, December 11, 2010

Helium > How Useful Are Digital Textbooks ?

by Leigh Goessl

Education has embraced the electronic age and has successfully integrated technology with academics. First came the dynamic concept of bringing education to the virtual classroom in the form of distance learning programs, and now digital textbooks have begun to enter both traditional classrooms and the online environment as well. E-books are increasingly becoming a standard in higher education.

Many people wonder if digitized textbooks are an improvement over traditional course books or if they damper the learning experience. The usefulness of a digital text depends on how you look at it. There are many advantages and disadvantages to using e-books. [snip]
Let's take a look at some of the other pros and cons associated with using digital textbooks:


*Compact. [snip]
*Lower in cost. [snip]
*On-demand learning. [snip]
*Easy to customize. [snip]
*Search features. [snip]


*Portability. [snip]
*Electronic format may be hard on the eyes. [snip]
*Digital textbooks keep you reliant upon a computer. [snip].
*Assignments and open-book tests. [snip]
*Vulnerability. [snip]
*Digital Rights Management (DRM). [snip]

Digital textbooks are likely to rise in popularity due to society's tendency to gravitate towards digital environments. Many universities are also beginning to move towards integrating more technology into the classroom. There are many good reasons why digital textbooks are useful, but there are an equal number of reasons why they are ineffectual.

For most it's simply a matter of personal preference.



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