re: Textbooks To Tablets: The Progression Of Classroom Technology
I am a student. I have a tablet. When I got my texts in electronic form, I eventually put them down and bought the paper versions instead. Why?
Well, if you are doing something like reading a linear book, like a novel, where skipping around is not really going to be necessary, the tablet works fine. But, if you are a serious student, you will be reading a paragraph, hit upon a word or concept that was covered a few pages earlier, and want to go back and figure out what that word meant again, within the new context. You will be preparing for an exam. You are required to skim the text. You need to quickly look up a word in the textbook glossary or index. Tablets, or even computer-based electronic editions, do no allow for you to do those things very easily or quickly.
Sure you have the ability to search on key words. But key-word searches can be very frustrating when you are working with subjects heavily based on another language (for example, Buddhism), or dealing with concepts. Also, key-word searches can be at times much slower than using a well-designed index in a hard-copy textbook.
What is worse, electronic textbook prices are nearly as high as the paper copies. That is outright profiteering.
This mass rush by schools to obtain expensive technology before checking out how the students can really use it, is simply mad. The only beneficiaries of this are the hardware manufacturers and the textbook companies.