Electronic Textbooks: Changing The Way Professors Teach and Students Learn
BOSTON, July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The ritual of college students poring over textbooks with highlighter in hand will be changing at many campuses this September as increasing numbers of colleges expand their curriculum to include online textbooks. Accessing digital textbooks is simple, according to Andres Nannetti, CEO of Rovia (www.rovia.com), a Boston-based provider of secure, electronic distribution infrastructure. A student goes online, downloads the reader software, and searches for their assigned textbook(s). Rather than paying for the entire book, they rent access to either specific chapters, or the entire text. Digital textbooks often include special features, such as the ability to highlight text, electronically bookmark pages, or even Instant Message (chat) with other classmates online. With most digital textbooks running about one-third of the price of print versions, they also aid students where it helps most - their checkbook. "I would love to see more digital versions of my textbooks," said Allison, a senior at Syracuse University. "Buying ten books or more each semester, plus lab guides and other workbooks ... it really adds up." For professors eager to engage students in coursework, electronic textbooks provide a new way to communicate with students outside the classroom. For example, they can annotate students' digital textbooks with insights, provide special guidance, or flag important information for a quiz. ETextbooks also enable professors to facilitate online study groups and offer one-click access to Websites and other multimedia tools referenced in the text. "In the past, students had limited digital textbook options because publishers worried about copyright infringement," says Nannetti. "But now that textbook publishers have noted the prevalence of the 'wired campus' and embraced new eTextbook technology, students returning this fall will find many textbooks available digitally." Most college students today, born in the early 1980s, have never used a printed encyclopedia; so using a digital textbook should be a natural transition. In fact, according to many professors it appears these students are actually more comfortable learning in a digital environment. With the ability to update information continuously, professors are finding digital textbooks to be much more flexible than printed versions. Most print textbooks are updated every three years or so, and information becomes outdated quickly. For professors teaching technology, or other dynamic curriculums, three years is a lifetime. "Today's college student has grown up with real-time information, and interacting with multimedia features. The ability to quickly update and customize the digital texts is a key benefit for their use in the classroom," said John Pietsch, coordinator of information services at California Polytechnic University's center for teacher education. "I teach technical and business writing courses for students pursuing careers in technology," says Johndan Johnson-Eilola, technical communications professor at Clarkson University and director of the Eastman Kodak Center for Excellence in Communications. "Online pedagogy better prepares students for their post-graduation work as so many of their careers will revolve around the Internet." With the publishing industry in the process of building its digital title portfolio, students and professors are ready to make the switch. So, when your child comes home from campus this fall without books, don't be concerned ... they're online. Editorial Contact: Cameron Smith Bridgeman Communications 617-742-7270 firstname.lastname@example.org MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X27215726
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