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The Pros and Cons of Using E-textbooks

The Internet is the world’s largest library.  It’s just that all the books are on the floor.

John Allen Paulos

Modern education involves the use of various forms and methods of the educational process. One of the interesting areas of modern educational science is the use of electronic textbooks. Usually electronic textbook is a set of training, supervising, modeling and other programs that are placed on electronic media, which reflects the basic scientific content of subject discipline.

downlaod the e-bookThe most important thing that e-textbooks can provide is economies. Saving space in the bag, as textbooks in all subjects will be in one small compact and lightweight device. Saving time and effort to find the right chapter, section, etc., because the electronic device has a convenient search algorithm, allows you to store bookmarks, copy chunks of text, which is especially true today, when many of the students do not write their works “by hand”, but printing on the computer.

Electronic textbooks provide an opportunity to save money. Especially in smaller schools where the number of books is not enough, and students are forced to buy the whole set of books – in this case the costs will be spent only once – to visit the Internet store and buy an electronic device that will be helpful all educational period in institute. These books can be downloaded for free from specialized sites. Almost all textbooks on the subjects of all training years can be involved in one e-textbook, so it is enough to download all the necessary files once and use them for many years.

An important advantage of the use of e-books in education is an opportunity to significantly save money on printing books (paper, printing and staff wages payments, costs on delivery to the schools of the country, etc.), which can affect the state school system. Significant funds that will be saved can be spent on other needs – providing students with all necessary equipment in computer classes, furniture, etc.

So the pros of these books are:

1)      their mobility;

2)      the availability of communications;

3)      the adequacy to the level of development of modern scientific knowledge.

On the other hand, the creation of e-textbooks also contributes to the solution of such problems as the constant updating of information material. They may also contain a large number of exercises and examples, illustrations in details in the dynamics of the different types of information. In addition, with the help of e-textbooks the control of knowledge is done – computer testing.

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Also e-textbooks:

ü  provide almost instant feedback;

ü  help quickly find the information (including context-sensitive search), the search of which is difficult in the usual textbook;

ü  save time during multiple calls to the hypertext explanations;

ü  in addition to a short text – show, explain and model, etc. (This is where the opportunities and advantages of multimedia technologies appear);

ü  allow fast, but at the most appropriate pace for a particular person, to test knowledge of a particular topic.

Electronic textbooks provide a differentiated approach to learning, when class time is used efficiently and not wasted on the admonition that distract the whole class from lesson. If the purpose of the teacher is to teach the class, then during the lesson the stronger students usually lose pace, and the weak are not involved at all. When using electronic aids every student can master the program according to the individual pace of development. This will allow avoiding the psychological discomfort, injustice or exclusion complexes. Teachers can also form classes in tempo perception of the material, changing their composition, depending on the rate of student learning. These permutations will be an additional incentive to the receiving knowledge.

The cons of using e-textbooks are:

ü  not so good physiology of display as a means of information perception (perception of textual information from the screen is much less convenient and effective than reading a book); and

ü  a higher value compared to the book.

Experts also believe that the use of the electronic textbook will cause many psychological aspects that negatively affect students whose parents are not able to buy it. This is a psychological discomfort. The division of the school community to social strata will begin. And not only in the relationship between children, who belong to the families of different incomes. But, perhaps, between children and teachers too.

Before buying e-textbook, think about why do you need it: for education or just for having it? Knowing the reason of its necessity for you, you will make a right decision!

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