Traditional textbooks are at the crux of both the grade school and university education systems, but this trend is quickly changing. Instead of possessing traditional text books, students will soon be required to utilize educational ebooks. Companies like the CK 12 foundation are forging the way to bring ebook textbooks to critical mass. The company is a nonprofit advocate for reduced textbooks for the kindergarten through 12-grade educational group. Their educational platform is based on a Flexbook system that uses both ebooks and traditional textbooks. The use of the Flexbook Platform ® prepares students to be able to utilize ebooks in college settings and on-the-job settings.
Traditional textbooks on average can cost each student about $1200 to $1500 per semester. With a required 12 units or hours in each semester, this averages out to about $300 to $375 in textbook costs for each class. However, high students are usually not aware that the costs of their textbooks range from $350 to $400 for the year, while elementary and middle school textbooks are not far behind in price. Although some argue that the cost of e-readers and online textbook subscription fees are still quite expensive individually, many educators and textbook companies believe these initial price tags are worth lowering the total costs of printing textbooks over time. Yet, many hope that when colleges and grade schools demand more eReader content, the costs will be reduced even more.
A 21st Century Tool
Students from kindergarten to college are trained to utilize electronic resources to learn, acquire research and complete assignments. Therefore, many educators are asking for this 21st Century learning platform to also be transferred to the arena of textbooks. E-reader textbooks have advocates on every side of the spectrum, including students, teachers, colleges and some textbook publishers. Just like with many online learning games, eReaders are interactive tools that are fun and engaging for students. Moreover, eTextbooks are a fast and viable research tool, because they can quickly allow students to locate additional learning resources via video streams and direct Internet links. With this type of capability, it seems that electronic textbooks are the next smart step in bringing education to the level of the modern world.
Many teachers are bereft of new textbooks due to annual education budgets that are slow to keep students updated with the fast pace of learning, but this same system still requires them to know the updated material to graduate. As a result, many teachers are extremely supportive of using eTextbooks within the classroom setting. Because the content of e-reader textbooks are easily and quickly updated multiple times a year, students, teachers and publishers stand to positively gain. Publishers agree with this change because they know that there is profit in producing electronic resources. They also understand that traditional textbooks are quickly becoming a novelty, and will soon have a short shelf life.
Multiple Benefits of E-Readers
The idea of carrying a single slim electronic notebook to school, rather than four heavy and cumbersome books, will go over well with many students. Furthermore, being able to utilize an easily searchable tool for educational research is also an additional plus for students. According to the CK-12 Foundation, the e-Reader opens the door to a passionate adaptive learning environment. However, everyone is the circle of education will stand to benefit from e-Readers:
- E-readers provide a collaborative learning community where students, teachers and authors can share significantly.
- Electronic textbooks allow quick access to recommended reading, creativity, ratings and updated work.
- Teachers have quick access to help align their educational models with standardized test.
- Educational practitioners cans still monitor each eTextbook for quality standards and breadth of work.