Technology-Enhanced Textbooks: Growing by Leaps and Bounds

Textbooks are the bane of every student’s existence. They are expensive, they are heavy, and it seems like a new edition is published every year, so even if you try to sell the book back to the bookstore they may not accept it or you will get a small percentage of your money returned.

Over the years students have tried to find ways to get cheaper textbooks by buying them from online discount-shopping websites or textbook rental websites. While in college a few of my friends and I split the cost of the one book and shared it among us. However, advances in technology with e-books are changing the textbook industry, making it more affordable for students.

A recent study found that students who used iPads in the classroom performed better on literacy tests than those who didn’t. Educators in Maine began instructing kindergartners with iPads, and the students who used the Apple tablet scored higher on literacy tests. Apple increased its education efforts in the past few years, adding iTunesU, iBooks, iBooks2, and iBooks Author, and an e-book creation platform that teachers and smaller publishers can use to develop apps to enhance learning.

On average, digital textbooks are 53% cheaper than new print books; and with new editions being published so often, this is a blessing for students and educators alike. Cheaper textbooks allow for educators and students to spend their money elsewhere.



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