Are textbooks dying?

If you’ve been to a college bookstore lately, you know how expensive textbooks are, and you also know how much students love to drop $200 on a book they’ll use for 6 weeks! With e-textbooks becoming more common, and new technologies like the Kindle and iPad for easier reading of digital materials, traditional text books should be on their death bed, right?!

Well, no, not exactly. At least, not yet. E-textbooks are still not consistently cheap enough to justify replacement of their traditional paper counterparts, and you can’t exactly sell a digital book back to the bookstore. You could, however, incorporate video, audio, animations, and interactive multimedia in an e-textbook, which is quite an intriguing idea, don’t you think?

The technology is still relatively new, and debate over its application is heating up. Click the link below to listen to an interview of higher-ed professionals, as they discuss the topic during last Fall’s annual Educause meeting.

And then weigh-in on the subject by leaving your comments below!

3 responses to “Are textbooks dying?

  1. I think that eventually we will be seeing the use of e-books only. I taught a few online courses for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online division and as of their Summer sessions this year which begin in a few weeks, they will only be using e-books for all of their courses.

    Apple + iPad = e-books

    What do you think?

  2. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about it. If readers/iPads become more affordable, though, I would warm up to the idea very quickly. Reading text at length on a laptop is not a very enjoyable experience to me. So I don’t think we’re there just yet, but it’s only a matter of time. And how great would it be to carry one, slim reading device in your backpack, instead of 30lbs of books!

  3. I agree that reading text books or any book of length on the computer is difficult, at least for me it is. I spend countless of hours online for classes and too many hours in a row makes for very strained eyes.

    I would be for a price drop in the iPad so that they’re affordable for students on a budget. It would be wonderful to not carry so many books, agreed!

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