Benefits of using eBooks for K-12 education and how using eBooks will change the K-12 learning delivery system.

Will eBooks Change K-12 Education

According to research conducted by the University of Iowa, it was found that by the age of two, 90% of children had a moderate to good ability to use a tablet. Considering the fact that kids these days are more comfortable with the digital environment, this is something that we did expect to happen.

Children are growing up with technology all around them- smartphones, tablets, remote controlled toys, computers etc. After spending hours in school, students look forward to leaving their classrooms and accessing content on their phones. In light of these events, educational institutes realize that the only way they can keep up with technology and maintain students’ interest in education is by bringing digital technology into classrooms. This does not only include virtual whiteboards and projectors, but also electronic books or eBooks.

Educational institutes and publishers have begun to accept that a digital textbook, or an eBook has more potential to deliver effective education than traditional teaching methods. eBooks help create an efficient and effective learning environment for children. Today, kids have started interacting with eBooks at a very young age.

There are tablets that are designed specifically for preschool kids, teaching them alphabets, numerals, and colors. Children look at digital medium as a source of entertainment and fun. eBooks provide just that while being informative at the same time. They offer students the freedom to learn even outside the classroom environment.

Top Reasons Why eBooks are Better Suited for K12 students:

Ebooks Are Easy To Store, Organize And Carry Around:

eBooks are slowly replacing printed textbooks. Since kids are increasingly spending time with their mobile devices instead of books, education institutes are gradually bringing in eBooks into classrooms and incorporating them as part of the curriculum. eBooks provide students with a highly portable learning solution.
An eBook can consist of over thousands of titles which can be organized by the category. It also acts like a virtual library, where one can access any number of reference books for further learning.
So, students no longer have to carry a heavy backpack nor do they face a risk of forgetting to carry a book to their classrooms.

Ebooks Generate More Interest In Learning:

The reason why students like spending time on their mobile devices is because they provide a fun element. If teachers use eBooks instead of print books, it would help develop students’ interest to go through their course content more often.
And as eBooks can be carried around anywhere and can be read anytime, kids can study whenever they want, while taking a break, traveling in the bus, or while lazing away. They could be reading their eBooks in their free time instead of playing games on their devices.

Learning Becomes More Interactive with eBooks:

eBooks can be embedded with multimedia to make the learning content more engaging. Students can experience interactive learning with the help of videos, audio, and images. eBooks also have a read-aloud feature, which highlights texts as the content is being read out.
Videos are apparently the most preferred learning medium for people across all ages. Including animated videos helps present information in a fun and easy-to-remember manner. Such interactive content helps the students stay engaged while learning.

How To Create An Interactive eBook

Increases Collaboration between Teachers and Students:

The general belief among people is that online learning does not allow collaboration and interaction among peers and between the teacher and student. On the contrary, digital books help in better collaboration than regular classroom learning. eBooks are embedded with social features, where students can share content with each other, send references, discuss assignments and projects.
Students can take part in online discussion forums where they can give their opinions, interact with other students and teachers across the school. An online student community helps them stay in touch with each other and be aware of latest happenings.

Augmented Reality in the Classroom:

Augmented reality is an experience that no print book can ever provide. AR enhances a normal image into a 3D image with additional information around it.

This technology makes learning a much more immersive experience. Students can have a 360 view of an object on their screens, complete with external hyperlinks for extra information. Using AR in classrooms help students to understand concepts much better.

Online Assignments:

eBooks can be embedded with quizzes to evaluate the student’s academic performance. Regular quizzes and tests during and after the chapters help students to gauge their understanding of the concepts. It helps them to remember the information for a longer duration.
eBooks enable teachers to easily assign practice work online to their students. They can even allocate separate assignments to each student based on their performance and learning capability.
The teaching faculty can also track the progress and reading patterns of every student, allowing them to evaluate the performance of each student and accordingly change their teaching strategies.

Content can be Easily Updated:

If there is ever a need for the syllabus to be modified or some data within the course module to be changed, it can be easily done if your students are using an eBook.
The contents of an eBook are mainly cloud-based. Unlike printed books, eBooks can be upgraded without incurring any printing costs. Changes made on the cloud are reflected on all the eBooks, providing all students with updated content at once.

It’s an All-in-one Learning Device:

Students usually have to carry a lot of items with them to support their learning process, for example, a calculator, a pen marker, dictionary, etc. An eBook allows students to annotate, bookmark a page or chapter, highlight texts with a pen tool, use an online dictionary or Google for more information, and much more.
With so many additional features embedded in one single device, it makes for an all-in-one learning tool for students. Besides these, an eBook also lets the students adjust the font size and style, brightness, and zoom levels according to their preference.

With technology entering every field at an exponential rate, educational institutes and publishers must adapt to the changing ways and develop interactive eBooks for students to make their learning journey more fun, informative and interesting.
Children these days are more comfortable accessing information and managing their daily activities using digital devices. Publishers and educational institutes must aim to utilize this growing trend and provide students with a digital learning experience right from kindergarten to higher education.
Most of the educational institutes are still using printed textbooks as their main tool to deliver content. But many of them have started incorporating eBooks to give an enhanced learning experience to students. Even from a publisher’s perspective, investing in digital books will ensure that their business keeps running despite the technological invasion in the education domain.

eBooks have the capacity and capability to transform the education model. They can provide an engaging learning experience for students, and hence, eBooks must be utilized to deliver efficient and effective education at the K-12 level.

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Vishal Dani

Vishal Dani

Vishal is the Senior Vice President and Head - Cloud Platforms & Technology at HurixDigital. He leads the product development group and technology solutions. More posts by Vishal Dani