Have you ever wondered a textbook could be multifunctional? The electronic textbook would be a typical example. It is “An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
” (English Oxford Living Dictionaries, 2018, para 1). There are rising controversy surrounding the use of electronic textbook on academic purpose. Thence, this essay will discuss the major advantages and flaws of electronic textbooks, from perspectives of stakeholders on the educational, health and economical aspects.To commence with, the use of electronic textbook may benefit students in the educational aspect. There are various features of the electronic textbook that can assist teacher in improving learning and accommodating special needs of students, especially for those disabilities.
For instant, the read-aloud function, multimedia, interactive games and learning assessment tools. Students with confined vision and obstacles in reading printed textbooks could learn by the text-to-speech ability of e-textbook. Besides, through videos and animations, abstract concepts can be presented specifically and understand by student easily. Moreover, teachers can encourage student to participate actively in lesson by interactive games and automatic graded test offered by the electronic books. Thus, increasing student’s interest in learning and rise their academic results. Nonetheless, advanced electronic devices and speedy Internet access are owned by minority of students, which prohibit the remaining students from studying on a 24/7 basis efficiently (Collier & Berg, 2011). According to Turner (cited in Doering, Pereira & Kuechler, 2012), lacking computer skills may lead to the deny and restrict of access to the learning material.
Hence, create problems for potential learners. Apart from the educational aspect, health could also be a factor for consideration in the application of electronic textbooks. Anderson indicates (cited in Embong, Noor, Hashim, Ali & Shaari, 2012), schools generally require students to carry conventional textbook of different subjects to school every day. The overweight school bags may generate problematic health issues to student.
For example, back strains and deform of spinal. Oppositely, bringing a single electronic textbook which include all learning materials needed is much lighter and convenient. Seen in this light, the portable trait of electronic textbook can ease the headache of the potential health problems (Doering et al., 2012). Nevertheless, students claim that focusing on a pocket-sized, illuminated monitor over a long duration would induce eyes strains and further vision problems (McGowan et al.
, 2009). Therefore, threatens the physical well-being of the students. Despite these concerns of health, the amount spends on electronic textbook also raise people’s awareness.Ultimately, from the economical aspect, electronic textbook could possibly lead to a reduction in the financial burden for students. The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance observes (cited in McGowan, Stephens & West, 2009) students’ average expenditure on printed textbooks per year is about one thousand, and it is increasing overtime. On the contrary, electronic textbook are offered at comparatively lower cost as there are less printing, updating and delivery cost, leading to more profits from selling extra pieces of the non-resellable electronic textbook (McGowan et al., 2009).
Nowadays, most students have their own smartphone which can serve as an electronic textbook to download the electronic form of the printed textbook. The online materials only cost a partial amount of the original, so it helps saving a huge expense (Waller, 2013). In addition, government would provide funding and subsidies to school for educational purpose. So that expenditure of electronic textbook could be eliminated (Embong et al., 2012). Yet, student who intent to retain a permanent copy of electronic textbooks may need to pay repeatedly for a fixed period considering the major publishers would expires the electronic textbooks (Top Ten Reviews, n.d.).
Furthermore, systems of electronic devices are renovating constantly. Outdated and non-functional electronic textbook will be eliminated. Cost of dealing with the electronic disposal exceed those of printed textbooks (Macauley, Palmer & Shih, 2003). Consequently, imposing further charges on the government.
All in all, most evidence agree that electronic textbook is beneficial whereas part of them argue that it is harmful. Clearly the numerous features to help facilitate and individualize studying, the all-in-one nature, along with the comparatively low-cost are the supporting reasons. With the advanced technology, guiding from instructors, electronic textbook usage in a reasonable time constraint and support from government, favorable things brought from electronic textbook probably would outweigh those detrimental effects in the future.