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Published by on Monday, November 29, 2010 at 7:37:00 PM

E-Textbooks Against Normal Education Textbooks

E-Textbooks Against Normal Education TextbooksBy Gino Hitshopi - Recent changes in the educational system have included things like change in teaching techniques and methods of learning. One of the more familiar methods of learning is through textbooks, writing notes and listening to the teacher. However, other schools have taken a different approach introducing e-textbooks, e-learning and use of computers during classroom hours. Does this new method mean that convention education textbooks will be overthrown by laptops and computers?

In Vail, Arizona, the Empire High School has taken the step towards turning their classrooms digital. Each student has been given their own computer, provided by the school, to do their homework and listen to podcasts of their teacher's science lectures. A Few blocks away from Empire, Cienega High School has initiated a new system allowing students with their own laptops to register onto the 'digital section' of many of their English, Science and History lessons.

As more schools within this area begin to take the digital approach of teaching, a growing number of people begin to speculate that education textbooks are heading in the direction of scrolls. With this being the case, for teachers who are strong on the idea of keeping textbooks thriving in classrooms choose to balance the use of computers and notebooks without ignoring the way young people are 'wired' today. More to the point, most young people around the world have access to the internet and have easy access to free learning tools. Where young people twenty years ago would conduct their research at the library, young people today are using the internet to download research information for various projects and coursework.

Fortunately textbooks have not yet gone in the direction of the scroll and are still very much prevalent in classrooms. Arizona is currently one of the locations experimenting with e-textbook learning, which is a major step as the final end of year assessments and examination results will reveal how this method of learning will benefit students.

Some teachers and educational professionals have stated the disadvantages of e-textbook learning. The structure of e-textbooks can be longwinded, in that they do not have page numbers like normal education textbooks do. Instead they have location numbers, which students can type in on the keyboard and jump straight to the desired section. However, these location numbers can be long and could take time for students to look up and type in, whereas normal textbooks only require a flick of a few pages leading them directly to the section that they need.

Furthermore, some students have been confronted with a few glitches and errors when trying to locate specific sections using the computer, breaking the flow of teaching and delaying class time. Students have also claimed that it can be difficult to make notes within the margins, taking them longer to type down information and keeping up with the lesson structure. With the above problems in mind it appears that the speculations of textbooks being taken over by digital means is just that - speculations! Normal textbooks are not likely to disappear anytime soon and will continue to play an important in student learning.

Though major internet book retailers are supporting digital learning, there is a balance between using computers as a tool for teaching and textbooks for studying in classrooms. The idea is for schools to provide an option for students, to be free to use digital resources as well as normal textbook resources. Many online bookshops are offering both e-textbook and normal textbooks, which have resulted in an increase in sales.

Young people do appear to be moving away from using textbooks at home for researching, but one of the first things they do is using the internet to source very specific textbooks which hold vital information that the internet is not able to provide. Furthermore, they may also purchase e-textbooks if time is of an issue and have a virtual copy if they cannot wait for a hardcopy to arrive.

To conclude, it is unlikely that e-textbooks will completely take over normal textbooks, however it is more likely that we will see a balance between the uses of both in classrooms sooner than we expect.

Gino Hitshopi is an expert on the subject of e-learning and textbook learning, having experiment distance learning courses via online methods and teaching using textbooks. For more on sourcing vital textbooks and e-textbooks visit

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Published by IzajAhmed Shaikh.
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I am, Mr. IzajAhmed Shaikh, Computer Professional, and Pro. Blogger, who belongs to Shahabad, Karnataka India. My basic Qualifications are B.Sc., and M.C.M. done from University of Pune, formerly known as, Poona University, also like to write articles based on my personal experiences.