Many parents and educators worry about the spinal effects of children carrying huge backpacks filled with books. They may be delighted to read that major and community colleges are considering the e-book option. A student would exchange an onerously heavy canvas bag for a simple reader.
Weight is not the only consideration, the cost of text books rises annually. “Experts said…this technology will help students cut some of their expenses — a fiscal advantage stressed by the University of Wisconsin (UW) Madison campus and five other major universities that have launched digital textbook pilot programs during the spring 2012 semester”.
The cost of tuition and text books is rising as scholarship funds decrease. Add to that the limited employment opportunities available for students and the prospect of attending college dims for many. If you thought the price of text books is rising, you are correct. Between 1986 and 2004 they rose 186% and I was there for each rise. There are many students who do not buy books. They borrow them from friends or the library (when they could), or just wing it bookless due to the cost.
Consider the massive use of paper, bindings, glue, cardboard and ink to produce millions of text books annually and the landfill reception many receive. This usage of resources and waste could be virtually eliminated with e-books.
Thanks to technology e-books offer an interactive experience where real photographs, video implants, moving images that can be stimulated or changed by the reader add to the attraction and the learning experience. Those born in this digital age are familiar with this form of information gathering, it’s where they live. Tests could be linked to the e-books and taken on digital readers. The tests would then be scored instantly saving teachers scoring time and standardizing the process.
Imagine the biology books where the internal organs can be removed, to see how one interacts with another. Imagine geometry or trigonometry coming alive as students manipulate angles and planes with the touch of a finger. Those studying mechanical engineering or others forms of engineering could “create” and understand the project by manipulating it using the same simulated learning technology as the military.
Not all “progress” is beneficial but this progressive step into ebook learning appears to be one that is overdue.