eBooks: Changing The College Experience
One utterance of the word “textbook,” and financially poor college students begin shaking in their proverbial boots. Textbooks are one of the most expensive aspects of the college experience. Many college students spend their breaks working full time – only to spend the total of their money earned on textbooks in the fall. Money is not the only problem with textbooks (although their overpriced nature is typically the first complaint from polled college students). One of the more practical problems includes the difficulty involved during the process of carrying four to five enormously heavy textbooks across large campuses. Backpacks are sagging and students have aching shoulders; it is time for a change in the way colleges and universities handle textbook sales. The good news is that change is on the way. As new innovations take place in the digital technology field, more and more possibilities have arisen for dedicated students who are unable to handle the unwieldy aspects of traditional textbooks.
Change On The Horizon
College students can put their one thousand pound book bags down with a sigh of relief; many major companies within the publishing industry are leading the way toward the provision of rental services that are targeted directly toward eBook friendly audiences (i.e. students).
What makes eBooks so appealing to students? The answer to this question can be summed up in a single word answer: affordability. EBooks are, on average, a whopping 50% cheaper to buy or rent than traditional paper-filled textbooks. Students may pay as much as $500.00 per semester for traditionally published textbooks; this adds up to a grand total of $5,000.00 spent on textbooks throughout a normal four year degree program. How can eBooks be so much cheaper? Why the price difference? Are traditional textbook companies ripping off students on purpose? Hardly. Publishers of traditional textbooks have to invest a large sum into the printing of a single book due to the large number of illustrations and extensive research involved in the creation of the content at hand. For those who care about frugality and efficiency, eBooks are the way to go when it comes to buying that much-dreaded and (unfortunately) required Biology text.
Considering Resale Value
One of the main selling points for a majority of textbook shops is an offer to simply buy back the book at a later date so that a student can receive a large sum of the spent money upon return. Unfortunately, these shops may not tell students that hard copy texts plummet in value by a significant margin upon being purchased. Within the span of one year, the probability that a new version of any given text will be published is very high. This means that it is almost impossible to retain any kind of “fair” value for a used book. Students who sign up for the same class during the next school year will most likely desire the newest version of the text available, leaving most used texts useless and relatively worthless.
Many eBooks come with a series of incredibly beneficial tools, often placed within an interactive program or two. These interactive programs act as learning reinforcers and may even further expound on the information found within the text itself. Digital textbooks allow for the use of videos, colorful graphs and charts that are interactive in nature, formulas that can be manipulated, pop quizzes, practice quizzes, and figure analysis – all without leaving the “pages” of the eBook itself. The variety of learning opportunities cater to a variety of learning styles, which means that students who use electronic textbooks may actually learn better than those who choose traditional textbooks. Visual learners, especially, benefit from the interactive opportunities provided by eBook texts. Providing an all-around deep learning experience for students, eBooks serve to keep any attention span engaged while enriching the mind. Obviously, these resources can be incredibly useful to instructors and professors because less time must be spent on the creation of handouts, study guides, and in-class illustrations; all of a teacher’s energy can be directed toward the lecture itself.
Two Birds With One Stone
No one really wants to kill two literal birds with one stone; however, many people crave efficiency and simplicity in today’s fast paced society. The ability to use eBook texts instead of traditional texts is especially useful to those who own tablet devices such as the Samsung NOOK because reading, note taking, highlighting, and planning can all be done from one “dashboard.” Who wouldn’t want that?
Those who are preparing to head off to college may want to carefully consider the information featured above. Purchasing or renting electronic textbooks is one of the wisest decisions a student can make, especially in a society that values technology so much. For a lightweight, affordable, versatile textbook experience, give eBook texts a try. Most people are surprised at how greatly this technology improves the college lifestyle as a whole.
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