18 Going Digital: The Future of College Textbooks?

By Christian V. Rodas 5 meses agoNo Comments
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The average college student in America spent an estimated seven _________ dollars on textbooks last year. The National Association of College Stores reported more than five billion dollars in sales of textbooks and course materials.

Association spokesman Charles Schmidt says electronic textbooks now represent just two to three percent of __________. But he says that is expected to reach ten to fifteen percent by two thousand twelve.

Online versions are now available for many of the most popular college textbooks. E-textbooks can cost half the ____________ of a new print textbook. But students usually lose access after the end of the term. And the books cannot be placed on more than one device, so they are not _______________ to share.

So what do students think of e-textbooks? Administrators at Northwest Missouri State University wanted to find out. Earlier this year they tested them with five hundred students in twenty ____________.

The university is unusual. It not only provides laptop computers to all seven thousand of its full-time _____________. It does not require students to buy their textbooks either. They rent them to save _____________. The school aims to save even more by moving to e-textbooks.

The students in the survey reported that downloading the books from the Internet was easy. They liked the idea of carrying lighter ___________. And fifty-six percent said they were better able to find information.

But most found that using e-textbooks did not ___________ their study habits. And sixty percent felt they read more when they were reading on paper. In all, almost half the students said they still liked physical textbooks _____________.

But the survey found that cost could be a big influence. Fifty-five percent said they would choose e-textbooks if using them meant their textbook _________ fee would not increase.

Roger Von Holzen heads the Center for Information Technology in Education at Northwest Missouri State. He tells us that administrators are disappointed with the e-textbooks now available because the majority are not ____________.

He thinks growth will come when more digital books include video, activities, ________ and other ways to interact with the information. The technology is improving. But for now, most of the books are just words on a ______________.


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