Are textbooks taking backseats in the classroom?
- Nov 24, 2014
I know you can’t stop reading novels on your e-books. You find them so irresistible, don’t you? My friend never loses a chance to flaunt her latest collection of e-books. And, she glows with joy every time she tells me how much money she has saved. Those of you who are book-lovers know what I mean. Nowadays, most paperbacks cost a hell lot of money. So downloading e-book versions sound much better, obviously!
Today, e-books are yet another excuse for gadget geeks to remain glued to their favorite electronic devices. No wonder they have attained a ‘celebrity status’ now, with almost seven out of every ten people opting for e-books. Now, how popular are e-books inside classrooms? Have they really succeeded in replacing textbooks? What do you think?
Just imagine! Which one would you prefer – traditional textbooks or modern e-books? If you ask me, I’d say I am more in favor of the former. No, I am not opposed to technology. Yet, I still feel textbooks are one of the most efficient mediums of imparting education.
Let us see why e-books cannot defeat textbooks in classrooms, in the following paragraphs:
More up-to-date: You must have noticed that textbooks are well-structured and armed with updated information. While studying different chapters, have you seen how they gradually progress from the simplest issues to the more complex ones? To encourage students to study more, modern topics are covered wonderfully in these books. Moreover, textbooks are constantly updated to accommodate the latest changes in society, so that students don’t miss out anything new.
Reliable: When I went to school, I found comfort in following textbooks. That’s simply because they are more reliable than e-books in the sense that they adhere to a particular course module. Or, in other words, they follow a specific pattern, depending on the syllabus. Unlike e-books, you don’t require access to the Internet to compare information, or collect new information. You can just open and read your textbooks anytime, anywhere you please!
Supportive: Textbooks are good friends not only of students, but even teachers. For, they contain everything that must be taught to students. You will find several kinds of ‘to-do’ exercises like ‘fill in the blanks’, ‘questionnaire’, ‘tick true or false’ which guide teachers on how to teach. I remember most of my school textbooks were enriched with a short summary called ‘things to remember’ as well as definitions of difficult terms, at the end of a chapter.
Affordable: Many teachers make beautiful ‘chart-presentations’, to make certain lessons more interesting in the classroom. Some others arrange for printouts for different course materials. However, textbooks are easier to afford and more convenient too. Most modern textbooks are equipped with audio-visual matter which explain the subject in a detailed format. So students won’t be deprived of reference material for their use. E-books, on the other hand needs to be downloaded from the Internet. And then, require an electronic device to be used, which consumes a lot of electricity.
E-books might be the perfect one-stop destination for the latest novels which have been published – but if they are utilized inside classrooms, e-books have certain drawbacks. Want to know how? Read on.
Tough to access: The most common issue with e-books is that you need a stable Internet connection to download them. In fact, if you want to do a quick research about which e-books would best suit your needs, you still require an interrupted access to the World Wide Web. If you do deep into the depths of reality, you will come to know that a large number of students are unable to enjoy access to the Internet.
Increases ‘screen time’: Spending more time reading e-books might prove detrimental for the eye-health of youngsters. Already, parents of most students complain that their children are hooked to the Internet 24*7! As a result, more and more learners today are becoming obese sue to the lack of physical activity. Using e-books would only add to the woes of an increased screen time.
Incomplete features: A traditional book will allow you to add comments, bookmarks or annotations. However, all e-books might not possess these features. You would come across interactive videos and games in the Internet which facilitate the process of learning. It drives me crazy wondering why they are not included in e-books! In addition, these electronic books are not even updated periodically, unlike traditional textbooks.
Non eco-friendly: Believe it or not, e-books are not environment friendly at all. If you thought they were, you were wrong! It is true using paperbacks are responsible for the indiscriminate chopping of trees. But, e-books are no better. They contain toxic chemicals, and use a lot of water. So you can well imagine their role in contributing to environmental pollution. And mind you, you harm the ecosystem more by robbing it of its resources. So, next time you think of downloading e-books for collecting reference material, please spare a thought about Mother Nature.
I have mentioned only a few of the numerous disadvantages of using e-books. I admit, they are some of the coolest tools of technology. But, teachers and students would really agree with me when I say that textbooks have not become obsolete yet.
Nor will textbooks suffer a silent death, in the near future!
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