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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why E-Textbooks Haven't Taken Over Schools | Education - Forbes Now

Peter Greene, look at K-12 policies and practices from the classroom perspective argues, "Twenty years ago, educational futurists predicted that some day--probably some day soon--students would no longer stagger through the halls of their schools balancing giant stacks of books."
Yes, it does look good, doesn't it.
Photo: Shutterstock

Instead, they'd carry one single device loaded with e-texts. Easily updated, always current, and wonderfully inexpensive, these e-textbooks would replace the clunky old forest-killing paper texts.

It hasn't happened.

Why not? There are several reasons, some visible on the large scale and some obvious to teachers in K-12 classrooms...

Many students would rather read paper books. Various studies over the last decade repeatedly show that students prefer to read on paper rather than a screen, that they believe they concentrate better, even that they retain information better from print formats. For many students, the screen device of choice is a smartphone. That's a tough format in which to read War and Peace, but many of the current crop of digital natives find a laptop or tablet nearly as antiquated as an actual paper text.

E-texts also lag behind when it comes to interaction. It can be exciting for a literature teacher to realize that, since the bulk of English literature is public domain, she can assign virtually anything with just a link. But what I and several colleagues have seen is that students will often follow the link to the work--and then print out a hard copy. Paper allows for greater interaction, including note taking. Curling up in a comfy chair works better with paper. And paper provides a quick, simple, even visceral sense of how far you've gotten in the work. There is still something wonderfully tactile about reading that is appealing even to digital natives--particularly elementary students, who are busy learning the world in a tactile and immediate way.
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Source: Forbes Now