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E-Textbooks in the U.S.

About 40 days ago, I shared a news update that a Canadian school introduced the idea of using e-textbooks. Here in America, schools are catching up. This Fox News video reports that Clearwater High in Clearwater FL becomes the first school in the U.S. that uses e-textbooks on Kindles. The advantages of using Kindles are obvious:
  • Students can store and carry all textbooks they need in a 10 ounce, ½ inch thick electronic device.
  • Kindle books are usually cheaper than hard copies.
  • Reading online is more eco-friendly as compared to paper books.
  • Information is easy to update in electronic devices.
My biggest concern of using e-textbooks, however, is that students may easily get distracted by searching irrelevant information on the Internet during class other than reading course-related materials as instructed. If e-textbooks are used, professors need to come up with new methods of keeping students’ attention because policies like “no-texting, tweeting, or Facebooking” or “tough cell phone policies” will not work anymore.
In addition to the above discussion, what are the other pros and cons of using e-textbooks in schools? For HR managers, maybe it is time to start learning how to use social media and computer games in recruiting qualify candidates and training employees. What do you think?

Comments

  1. The use of e-book creates a ease of use for many student. e-books are obviously electronic and because its on the internet it becomes easier to type in a particular topic and read on that subject in the book. E-books may be a better resource for those student that are more technologically advanced than others and typically perform majority of there communication on some for of electronic device, phone, computer etc. Cons of e-books; denotes the true value and purpose of reading and writing skill [considering we now write papers, letters, and notes on computers]. Pros of e-books; revolutionary technology that is keeping constant with the change of the world.
    -lauren hilard

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  2. A con of using these new e-textbooks is that all of a student’s books are stored on a single electronic device. If the e-textbook were to malfunction the student wouldn’t be able to access their homework. Paper textbooks won’t break. A pro of using these new e-textbooks is that it will be very accepted by today’s tech savvy generation of students. They know all about the technology of today and have been using it practically all their lives.

    Using social media to recruit and train employees is a very smart idea. Everyone that I know has a Facebook page, although they only use it for socializing with friends. If they used it in an attempt to reach employers they would most likely be very successful because they are used to using it and are always updating it. All they have to do is make sure that there aren’t any inappropriate posts or pictures and replace it with professional information.

    Kirstin Lyons

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  3. I think it’s a very interesting concept to begin incorporating e-books like the Kindle into schools and universities as a replacement to textbooks. Obviously it has a lot of benefits such as its size and portability, but there would be several complications and problems with this kind of system. In my opinion, the greatest advantage of using e-books instead of traditional textbooks is the economical benefits such as lower price, consolidated book locations, simple transportation, and the reduction of paper use. However, for each of these benefits comes an opposing issue that degrades the advantages of the e-book use. For example, the price of an e-book may be lower for most people, but there will still be people who cannot afford it in addition to the majority of high schools that allow children to borrow text books for the year at no cost. It seems obvious that a thin Kindle won’t be made to withstand the same kind of abuse a textbook would. A dropped e-book could mean a broken screen with high repair costs or the necessity to buy an entirely new one. Though it is nice to have every textbook on one device, this also means that every other book is on there as well, which makes it easier for students to study for another class or read a book for pleasure without any means of detection. Simple transportation due to slim size and design could make it equally as easy for the e-books to be lost or stolen, which goes along with the idea of having one book stolen or every book you’ve every owned because they are all stored on one e-book. Finally, the e-book may save paper, but there is a strong percentage of students who enjoy the feeling of flipping pages, highlighting sections, and marking off certain pages or paragraphs. While the e-book may be a great new option and extremely viable to some, I think it will be a slow, long-lasting transition that may never be completed.

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