By: Kathryn Martorana
E-books have been increasing in popularity over the last few years. E-textbooks have also been going up as well for college students across the United States. However, it seems that the idea of portable textbooks and other literature are slowly making their way into public schools. The Hindu, and Indian newspaper, is reporting that some school districts there are converting their physical textbooks to e-textbooks and online accessed material. Some are favoring these e-books over the traditional format, and are even looking at converting their entire school library to an e-library.The two main arguments for making the switch are less book load for students, and the ease of accessing materials at home and in the classroom.
Reading books and other material online, or on an e-reader, are a great benefit because you can carry around a multitude of them without heavy strain with backpack or bag, and you can have immediate access to multiple sources and titles. As a college student or working professional this is ideal because you can have access to all your textbooks, supplementary reading, and reference books without having to carry all of them. This helps when you need one source for one small bit in an entire paper, or for a specific instance on the job.
However, the idea of making e-textbooks for public education is starting to make a path for itself in the market. As The Hindu reports, schools in India have already started making this transition. They claim that it puts less of a book load on the students backpacks. Everyone who traveled sixth through twelfth grade knows that textbooks for classes are thick and heavy. We dreaded having homework in three or more classes a night that required the book, or even multiple nooks, and lugging home not only our personal things like notebooks, binders, pens and pencils, but then three or more heavy books home and then back again the next day. This puts great strain on the spine, especially for the younger children who’s bodies are not done growing and maturing.
The other concept for reducing book load for kids is the book load they have when traveling class to class. The average travel time between classes is about five minutes. Imagine having your locker on the opposite side of the school from my your class that you have to run to and then run back across the school for your next class. Five minutes may not be enough, but the other option is to carry around multiple heavy books and other school items at the same time while running from class to class. Having e-textbooks and online materials helps to alleviate some of these issues.
Not only having these materials reduce backpack load and travel with books for students, but the article also points our that it makes access within the classroom easier. Smartboards are now very common in classrooms not only in the United States, but across the world. Having e-textbooks and online accessed material makes it so the children can read the material at home or wherever they have access to them, and then the teacher can pull up the same material at school. This helps so that children who forget their books are not lost in class, or have to share with a classmate, and makes the transition between subjects int he classroom faster and easier.
Original source material found at http://m.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/schools-begin-the-shift-to-ebooks/article7653361.ece