With the rapid digitization of education since the COVID-19 pandemic, e-textbooks have become a growing alternative to regular textbooks.
As e-learning and ed-tech grow, electronic textbooks are becoming increasingly popular. An electronic textbook or eTextbook is a digital version of a textbook.
Many educators, colleges, and institutions are turning to eText books. The market for such textbooks is on the rise as publishing companies are spending increasing amounts on developing them. So what are the benefits that e-textbooks offer?
1. Quick and Costless Delivery
E-textbooks can be downloaded as soon as the order for the books is placed. This means you don’t have to wait for the books to be delivered to your address.
This is particularly useful for remote learning because students may otherwise have to order the books from a distant location.
It also helps educational providers since they may otherwise have to ship the textbooks overseas in cases where books are not available in a student’s country.
2. Convenient to Carry
Textbook ebooks are easy to carry around, and students can study on the go. They can be read on different kinds of devices or e-readers.
If a student has many different classes to attend, carrying all the physical textbooks for those classes can be an inconvenience. On the other hand, e-textbooks allow students to carry hundreds of such textbooks on their devices.
Since virtual textbooks are portable, students can travel with ease without worrying about the heavy burden of taking multiple textbooks with them. It allows students more flexibility to move around and take their books with them.
3. Less Expensive
Digital textbooks online are almost always priced lower than physical textbooks. This can be a price difference of as much as 50 to 70 percent.
What’s more, a student doesn’t have to worry about losing the textbook and having to buy a new one, which can be very expensive.
Students also save on buying new textbooks every year since eTextbooks can be easily updated to reflect current information.
4. Easily Searchable
The search function enables students to quickly look up something in the textbook.
They don’t have to go through many pages searching for the subject or topic or check the contents or index page. They can easily search and find the specific content they are looking for.
5. Highlight and Copy-Paste Function
Students can highlight important parts of the material on the e-textbook to look at later.
This highlight function is better than highlighting on a regular textbook because you can easily access the highlights later. You don’t have to go through the book searching for the relevant highlight.
6. Font Adjustment and Night Reading
On e-textbooks, you can easily adjust the font size for more comfortable reading.
When studying complex material, you don’t want to struggle to read the text. Regular textbooks often have small text to fit more material in the book. This can make studying a less smooth and comfortable process.
With e-readers, this problem is resolved. Students can easily adjust the text and the back-lighting or inbuilt light on the device to make reading a much easier experience.
7. Audio or Text-to-Speech Option
Many e-textbooks have audio or text-to-speech functions which enable you to listen to the material instead of reading it.
This allows students to listen to the content and learn on the go. It is particularly helpful for students with sight or hearing disabilities or issues (like dyslexia).
By listening to the text, they can focus on understanding and absorbing it instead of trying to read. It can also help other readers who have difficulty reading or face language issues.
8. Hyperlink Function
eTextbooks have many amazing features that are not present in printed textbooks.
For example, a student can click a hyperlink in the eTextbook and go to an online video that shows the process being described. This hyperlink function in online e-textbooks allows students to easily access more information on a topic covered in the subject.
Moreover, the text can be supported with other kinds of material like audio and video to provide a more integrated learning experience.
9. Eco-Friendly Option
E-textbooks have the advantage of being eco-friendly. This makes them a great option for environmentally conscious students.
Every year, billions of pages are printed to make physical textbooks. E-textbooks offer a great way to reduce this by making paper-free textbooks!
10. Interactive Experience
eTextbooks allow students to hear audio translations, find definitions of a word or phrase, and easily move between different parts of the textbooks.
With their additional functions like hyperlinks and highlights, eTextbooks make for a more interactive reading experience as compared to regular textbooks.
They save students time looking through hundreds of pages to find a subject they are looking for. It also saves students the need to take notes or worry about spoiling the book with highlights.
Ebooks also contain quizzes, multiple choice questions, and practice questions that engage students.
11. Easy to Update
Virtual textbooks can easily be updated because their contents are digital. Further, the contents are often cloud-based, which makes it simpler to update them at any point in time.
When an author or publisher updates information, the students will be able to access it in the most recent eTextbook. As compared to regular textbooks, in which information quickly becomes outdated, information in eTextbooks can stay up-to-date and current.
This is not just helpful for students who want to avoid outdated information for their subjects but also for authors and publishers because they can save on time and costs of reprinting.
E-textbooks are a great alternative to regular textbooks for many reasons.
They can be downloaded easily without waiting or spending on costly delivery. They are convenient to carry, less expensive, and easily searchable.
E-textbooks are also simpler to read and more interactive. The eText world thus offers features that transform the experience of studying from a textbook.
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