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BY: Kendall Hunt
Integration of technology into the classroom, especially at the college level, has become so assimilated that it was only a matter of time before printed textbooks found a strong competitor in eBooks. While many students still prefer the physical pages of textbooks, more and more students and universities are turning to eBooks and digital publications as their go-to resources for class material, reading assignments, and textbooks.
While there are pros and cons regarding both publication mediums, eBooks tend to push ahead when it comes to resources for the classroom. First and foremost, in the eyes of many students, is cost. In this day and age, laptops are a must when taking higher education courses and adding the financial (and physical) weight of traditional textbooks can be taxing. EBooks can be a more budget-friendly option that allows not only for all required texts to be centrally located, but it also nixes trips to the bookstore which adds an element of convenience to the eBook ‘pro’ list. Many publishers, including Kendall Hunt, even offer straight-from-the-source buying options and lower price offerings compared to what students would traditionally pay at the bookstore.
Digital copies of a text are also easier to obtain and easier to update or upgrade, a major draw in the realm of publishing. Searching an ISBN number, plugging in payment information, and clicking download are the only steps standing between someone and the publication they desire. Edits, additions, or upgrades to the text can also be made in real-time, and that sort of flexibility is something traditional texts will never be able to utilize. Similarly, authors and publishers can embed hot links to secondary sources, additional material, and other related information, even embedding interactive videos and other media, which can be immensely helpful with tougher content.
Additionally, eBooks come with unique tools that allow readers to highlight, annotate, look up or translate words or phrases with just a few clicks or taps. This makes the reading or studying experience more involved, multi-faceted, and accessible than traditional methods.
This begs the praise for other simple physical factors that traditional texts just can’t offer. Long gone are the days of desk lamps and flashlights under the blanket: eBooks are equipped with an adjustable brightness level, dispelling the need for excess lighting. As we get older or the nights get longer with studying, our eyes tend to wage war against us sometimes, forcing us to focus and refocus. EBooks, though, allow customization of things like fonts, font size, zoom, and line spacing to help ease the strain on your eyesight, allowing you to plug away well into the night.
While it all comes down to personal preference, there is something to be said about not throwing out your back every time you swing a backpack up onto it and having a little extra cash left over after purchasing books. And let’s not forget the environmental impact that choosing eBooks has over traditional print. Next time you’re in line to purchase a new book, consider your options before checking out! Kendall Hunt Publishing Company partners with VitalSource, the leading provider of eBooks on the market, to deliver its electronic publications. Working with VitalSource makes certain KH authors' work transfers into the digital space on a high-quality platform with ease of use and accessibility for students.