Despite Digital Offerings, Books Are Still King in College Classrooms

Students these days may spend a lot of time on cell phones, laptops and browsing the web, but despite all the technology at their fingertips, one thing that hasn’t been entirely replaced for a digital option is textbooks. Many textbooks are available in digital forms that students can access on their computers, through e-readers or even on a smart phone, yet the digital revolution hasn’t quite come to pass when it comes to textbooks.

Books, however musty, dusty and old-fashioned they’re sometimes conveyed as being have been a part of academics since ancient times and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. Students may get information from blogs, digital books and academic websites, but they’re holding on tight to textbooks– regardless of how heavy they may be to lug around.

Of course, going the old-fashioned route comes at a price. Students can expect to pay hefty prices for textbooks each semester. While students often have the choice to sell back books to college bookstores or in online forums, they can expect to only recompense a small portion of what they lay out for books each semester. With books being expensive and heavy ways to learn material why are students so loyal to the format?

Some students cite the temptation and distraction that comes along with using online textbooks. When your book is online, as well as sites like Facebook and Twitter, it can be pretty hard to concentrate on reading instead of talking with friends and browsing the net. Others feel that online books cause much more strain on their eyes, something that may very well be true as anyone who’s every experienced Computer Eye Strain Syndrome can attest to. The biggest reason, however? Most students just aren’t ready to give up the freedom to quickly flip between pages, highlight passages and get the satisfaction from touching real paper volumes instead of an ephemeral online alternative.

Students today may be some of the most technologically adept yet, but it’s clear that while they may know how to use technology there are still some places where they prefer the low-tech options instead. While e-book publishers continue to push their products, they’ll have an uphill battle against students who just can’t seem to ditch those heavy tomes in favor of something a little lighter– no matter the benefits.

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