As a company that makes a living implementing ebooks in the classroom, we want to share four key advantages ebooks provide when we look at the future of learning.
Publishers we work with, including Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and many others, are committed to making a majority of their textbooks “digital first” meaning that instead of the digital product being adapted from the print textbook, it will be the other way around. While there are many reasons for this, here are four big ones.
1. Keeping the textbook up to date
One of the very real challenges of a printed textbook is the time, energy and cost it requires to update it. We’ve all been in classrooms where the teacher is using a textbook that is outdated, or has seen so many hands, it is falling apart!
Moving to ebooks allows for updates to be made on an ongoing basis, rather then every 3-5 years. As things change in a field of study, changes can be made much more rapidly and redistributed to users of that textbook. Changes that reflect new research developments, technology breakthroughs and the latest pedagogical trends can be incorporated into ebooks within months, rather than years later when it makes financial sense to do a significant reprinting.
While there are challenges to mitigate along the way, the idea that new ideas can be distributed much more quickly and in a streamlined and cost- effective way is pretty exciting.
2. Incorporating emerging technology
In addition, the use of ebooks as a primary course offering allows the publishers and contributing authors to consider emerging technologies that can be added to the ebooks. Introducing embedded videos, built in assessments, learner analytics and other tools will allow for teachers to use textbooks in ways they never could before.
Well-designed ebooks allow for students to be more actively engaged in their learning, and it has been reported by the Journal of American Medical Association that high-quality educational screen content is associated with better language skills.
Ebooks can result in a better experience for students -- one that is more interactive, engaging and informed by the latest pedagogical research.
3. Lowering the Costs
Printing and distribution of physical books is a costly business, which is why updating them tends to be a slower process. When you move to digital distribution, the opportunity to reduce the cost for these books becomes very real. So with ebooks, publishers have the opportunity to keep the materials up to date and adapt for emerging technologies that can improve the experience for the students, and at the same time lowering the costs for schools and families.
4. Convenience and Accessibility
As with so many of our digital tools and devices, the convenience of having all our textbooks in one place is a huge benefit! The idea that we can carry around a library of knowledge and access them at the touch of a screen is a marvel of modern technology to be sure.
Not only is it convenient, but an additional benefit is that students and teachers do not need to lug around a set of heavy textbooks from home to school or from class to class. Think of all the wear and tear on our bodies ebooks help eliminate!
So there you have it! Four solid reasons for you to consider implementing ebooks in your school. If you see the sense in these four, but find yourself hesitant because of a bad experience in the past, let us show you a different way.
If you aren’t sure your team has the capacity to implement an ebook solution, let us show you the EdTech way.
Did we mention we are also helping save trees? Bonus!