Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Electronic Textbooks: The New Frontier In Nursing Education

May 1, 2012

Nursing school textbooks are a big investment, both regarding the price tag and the physical size. Physical, paper nursing textbooks have hundreds of pages, have to be taken to class every day most of the time, and generally cost at least $100 apiece. Textbooks are one of the major costs of a nursing education.

Now nursing schools are requiring students to have PDAs (generally iPod Touches these days), and the (slowly developing) trend is toward decreasing the number of large textbooks nursing students need to have constantly and instead moving this information to the smaller devices. Currently the handheld devices hold drug references and clinical snippets as opposed to entire textbooks, because it would be more laborious to read a textbook on an iPod Touch than to carry around the book, but as more students have Kindles or iPads, options increase for the purchase or even rental of electronic textbooks.

The Amazon Kindle, in its various incarnations, has become extremely popular, as has the Apple iPad. Both now offer textbooks as part of their catalogs, and the Kindle now offers textbook rentals.

[snip]. For students with an iPad or a larger Kindle such as Kindle DX, these options may be compelling. Avoiding back strain by having textbooks all on a tablet offers immediate benefits, and Kindle technology allows highlighting and notetaking as in a paper textbook and additionally syncs the notes and highlights across devices. The electronic version prices are cheaper, ... .


iTunes now offers texbooks for iBooks as well, but a brief perusal of the selection reveals this new offering to have little for the nursing student. [snip].

In short, nursing programs are starting to inch toward electronic education, but this change is slow to leave the ground because of the paucity of options. [snip].

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