Posts Tagged ‘Education’

The Future of Education Lies in EBooks

June 10th, 2021

An eBook is traditionally defined as “a book publication in a digital format that can be read on a dedicated device”, but eBooks have become much more than that, as we will explore in this article.

In recent years the use of smart phones and tablets have soared to new heights, and with that the appetite for applications to optimize the use of technology for convenience. Reading eBooks has become as easy as downloading a reader app and buying the desired book from an online store, all by using a device that is readily available at a stretch of the hand. The rise in popularity of smart phones has proved dedicated e-readers to be redundant, and have brought the joy and instant gratification of downloading an eBook to the masses.

Today, eBooks are becoming more and more popular with students at schools and universities. Recently, a group of students in Pretoria did a field study about the weight of school bags that high school learners carried every day. They weighed schoolbags of 4 different secondary schools around the East of Pretoria, and found the average schoolbag weighs about 10.8kg’s, and that the heaviest school bag, containing nothing but textbooks and ‘n note book, weighed 15.6 kg. It is no surprise then that more and more school children prefer to use a tablet which contains all their school books on one device. As of 2014, all of the major publishers that supply textbooks have converted their CAPS approved books to eBooks.

eBooks provides an enhanced learning experience, which includes digital note taking and highlighting. Revision work can sometimes be a time-consuming process, but some eBooks also features summaries based on the students own highlighting, which means that students can have a summary of any given chapter, based on work that they have already done, at a click of a button. The search feature in eBooks is also one of the great benefits of studying electronically. All by itself, this one benefit makes eBooks the preferred format for many students. How many times have you scanned every page in a chapter looking for a quick answer? This functionality of eBooks makes them extremely convenient when it comes to studying and completing homework

Digital textbooks accommodate students with different learning styles. For students who prefer watching video, looking at info-graphics or diagrams, eBooks allow for a more enriching experience than traditional printed textbooks.

As the use of e-learning in schools and universities become more popular, the functionality of eBooks will improve to include features that were previously unimaginable. Consider for a moment the rate at which information gets outdated. With electronically editable eBooks, this would no longer pose the same challenge, as publishers can update information regularly, and students can retrieve the updated information at a click of a button. Teachers can also compile a short electronic test after each lesson, and the students’ test results would be available instantly, eliminating the need to score students’ tests individually.

Using e-textbooks also poses a solution to students who are unable to get to class, which is a real problem in schools today; by enabling them to study from home through their tablets and access their teachers and fellow class mates.

Not only is the use of eBooks more convenient to school children, it also makes school administration easier. Where they traditionally have to wait 10 days for printed books to arrive (when they are in stock), it is now available instantly (with eBooks). In light of the recent Limpopo textbook scandal, where schools in Limpopo have not received textbooks by June of 2012, the use of eBooks that is readily available makes so much more sense.

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