The transition from online learning to in-person has brought a multitude of changes both students and teachers have had to adapt to. The utilization of digital educational platforms in particular was a major transition for most and is one of the changes that is likely to become permanently implemented. Even though school is no longer being conducted virtually, many teachers are still using the resources from distance learning, such as Google Classroom, Edpuzzle, Peardeck and Flipgrid.
During online school, it was common to see a course reliant on digital programs and rare to see one that used paper materials or books. Now that most schools have transitioned back to in-person learning, physical mediums are resurging, and arguments regarding digital versus physical materials continue to take place. Because online textbooks provide tools that promote work efficiency and comprehension, they are better than their traditional paper counterparts.
Online textbooks relieve the weight off students’ backs. Literally. The digital version of coursebooks are easily accessible from any place and any time, given internet access. Students also have no need to worry about the mobility of their books. For students who do not have enough time during a passing period to travel to their locker, there is no need to worry. Having textbooks on hand via the internet allows users to reach their resources through their computer or even phone.
Though the idea of online textbooks may ruin one’s fantasy of running into a school crush in the hall and dropping their books to the floor, at least now students do not have to break their backs carrying an added three or more pounds.
Online textbooks in comparison to physical ones are more convenient and have additional tools that can make users’ lives – be it students or teachers – more organized and efficient. Digital textbooks also exceed their physical counterparts in that most platforms where they are available have additional features, such as copying and pasting texts, notepads, highlighting, bookmarking or search functions. These features make it much more efficient for students who avidly utilize their resources and thoroughly read and annotate texts. Some aspects, such as the keyword or search function that make digital textbooks advantageous, are not possible for physical ones.
E-book textbooks also free students from the possibility of their hard copies being damaged, lost or stolen, or the stress about fines that will follow if the aforementioned happens.
Younger siblings who like tearing or coloring all over $600 Calculus coursebooks, clumsy friends who tend to spill black coffee, or oblivious guardians who mistake expensive books as sellable junk are all nonexistent problems when using online alternatives. By using digital textbooks, users are saving their books and their pockets.
Some may argue that hardcopy versions are better because they find it easier to focus on the material with a physical book in their hands and that they can recall and visualize the content pages better. While this may be true, it only emphasizes the impact of user preference. It is possible that some students prefer the simplistic, traditional pages rather than the techy e-books with characteristics they find too complex.
Though user preference is vastly impactful in determining the capability and superiority of online textbooks versus physical ones, it is undeniable that the former does hold more advantages and outlets of possibilities. Online textbooks are not only a comfortable medium providing the user with an environment of support, but they also push for deeper comprehension of content. In the end, utilizing the tools supplied by digital education platforms can help students become more successful in the classroom.