Daily Archives: March 21, 2012

eTextbooks!


Last Thursday I presented to a school librarians association conference on “Becoming a 21st Century Librarian”. In the ‘environment’ section of the presentation I covered eTextbooks as a coming reality in the classroom and school library, and used an infographic from Accredited Online Universities Guide.

What Apple is doing to advance the eTextbook through iBooks 2 for iPad, and iBook Author is both remarkable and aggressive. It literally may change the face of education.

Combine that with results of what higher-ed students are already saying about eTextbooks, based on the results of a survey by e.campus.com – A LOOK AT STUDENTS USING eTEXTBOOKS – and the reality is clear – eTextbooks are the new reality.

At visual.ly, the infographic shows some very convincing trends toward the use of eTextbooks. About half (48%) of all students choose eTextbooks because of the lower price, another 25% choose them to have instant access, 19% choose eTextbooks for the portability, but only 6% prefer reading digital format.

The attraction for eTextbooks seems to be the search capability that 52% like most. Twenty percent like highlighting, and 14% like the copy-paste capability (one might expect this to be the most valued feature), and 12% like the interactive study guides and quizzes. As far as saving time, another big student issue, 51% claim they save from 1 to 3 hours per semester, while 17% say they save more than 3 hours, and 29% don’t see any time savings with eTextbooks.

In response to the question – “Would you buy an eTextbook next semester?” – only 7% said No, but 38% said Yes for all their books, while 54% were undecided – Maybe.

What does this whole trend say about the future of technology, eBooks and library services?

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