Textbooks vs. E-Books
September 24, 2018
Weight of the School On Your Shoulders
Textbooks have always been a large controversy within high school walls. While most dislike them, textbooks do have their advantages when compared to having an e-book. For instance, paper textbooks do not require Wi-Fi or energy to run. People can use a textbook at any time or any place. Students who use e-books will most likely need internet access and a way to charge the e-book if they plan on using it for a long period of time. Also, as opposed to an e-book, students can write all types of things in the margins of their textbooks (if owned by them) and make notes, arrows, and doodles wherever they would like. Junior Onalee Durham stated, “I like having my own textbooks so I can write in them and take notes.” Students can also make all types of bookmarks with textbooks. Students can have red for writing samples, blue for information, etc. With e-books, students can only push a bookmark button and have it shuffled into a large group of other pages already bookmarked. It is easier to find things when bookmarked, in a textbook than it is with an e-book. Students will also have to make sure they are purchasing the right type of e-book and not just renting it as well. Since textbooks are supplied by the school, students do not have to worry about having the wrong version.
However, e-books are a lot more beneficial when it comes to the size of things. Textbooks are usually big and heavy, which makes them a pain to carry around. Textbooks can cause back pain as well. Although, there is a way to fix this. It would be beneficial to students and teachers if they, perhaps, did one of the following two things. Teachers could have a schedule listing all the days on which students would need to bring their textbooks in so that students did not have to bring them in every day. The other option is that teachers could make a certain section at the back of the room where all classes could keep their books. Numbers could be placed on the side of the book so that students would know which is theirs and the books would always be at school so no one would ever have to worry about not having them. If the student had to use the book for homework, the teacher can make them aware of this so that they all know to take it home that day and bring it back the next. At the end of the day though, it is better to have a textbook instead of an e-book.
Why E-Books are Better
Walking around school can be a drag when weighed down by forty pounds of textbooks. Fortunately, the information age has gifted us with benefits other than Snapchat. With the option to use electronic textbooks, our lives can be made much easier. In many classes, teachers make students bring our textbook every day even though we do not use them frequently. In senior Lillian Self’s opinion, textbooks “can sometimes explain things better than teachers, but many teachers at wade totally disregard the textbooks.” This causes LOTS of frustration after weeks of not being utilized they are suddenly dusted off and pulled from the depths of your backpack. This is where the magic of the electronic textbook kicks in. As long as you have your phone or a Chromebook the contents of your textbook are available to you. Personally, I think that having the electronic textbook is better than the print one for a multitude of reasons. Textbooks often feature minuscule print on the toolbar. For the electronic textbook, you can increase the font size to your liking and even change the font to one that facilitates smooth reading. In the same vein, the toolbar also features the option to write notes alongside the textbook and highlight. When you highlight and write in the school owned textbooks it is a sure fire way to catch a fine.
Perhaps my favorite feature of the electronic textbooks is the built-in videos created by the writers of the book. Whenever I am confused by a concept this feature is a great way for me to figure out whatever issue I am facing. This is especially helpful with math textbooks because the professor will often work out problems on the whiteboard behind them while reviewing the concepts right in the text. All in all, electronic textbooks are an excellent resource that combines accessibility and Khan Academy in one convenient, district-paid gift of the digital age.