Thinking outside the book

Girl with iPad

eTextbooks already have triggered what is shaping up to be a seismic upheaval in the way we think about academic course material. Digital materials offer highly mobile, on-demand access to academic texts in formats that allow students to store hundreds of books on a single device.

The physical aspects of this change are, on their own, monumental: Just reducing the volume of paper required to publish a textbook in digital form means that eTexts have the potential to save millions of dollars in shipping, distribution, and—eventually—waste.

Certainly, there are front-end costs in building the devices that allow readers to view eTextbooks, and while these are not negligible (and do indeed produce waste), publishers are gravitating toward a distribution model that eliminates the single-use device, opting instead to make eTextbooks accessible on laptops, tablets, and even smart phones.

Full Text: Viewpoint: Thinking outside the book | eCampus News.