According to McNeil (2019), e-text refers to an electronic version of a published physical textbook accessible and available through various online platforms. The use of e-texts is dominant across all learning institutions due to its unique benefits when compared to the physical textbook (Engbrecht, 2018). Therefore, this provides a comprehensive discussion on the benefits of using e-text over a physical textbook.
Benefits of Using the E-Text Compared To a Physical Textbook
Waller (2013) identified numerous benefits of using an e-text when compared to a typical physical textbook. First, many readers prefer e-texts to physical books due to their speed of delivery. Students, for instance, can download an e-text immediately upon ordering it as opposed to going to the bookshop to purchase a physical book or ordering and waiting for its door-step delivery over a couple of weeks. Secondly, e-texts are highly portable as opposed to carrying bulky and heavy physical textbooks (Kouis & Konstantinou, 2014). It can be cumbersome and exhausting to walk with physical books daily in the learning institution, especially if one has to attend several classes throughout the learning period.
However, it can be comfortable and convenient for students to carry the highly portable e-texts via their smartphones, e-readers, tablets, and mini-laptops (Engbrecht, 2018). Thirdly, e-texts are convenient to use and easy to search for information when compared with physical textbooks. Most of the sites that sell e-texts have well-incorporated search functions that make it easier and faster to find information (Waller, 2013). The search function eliminates the difficulties incurred while growing through the index pages to find information or searching for a specific paragraph. Lastly, these online sites have the highlighting feature, which enables readers to mark a significant part of the e-text for easy access during subsequent studies (McNeil, 2019). E-texts also have the copy and paste function, which makes it convenient for students to cite and quote various sections of their textbooks without going through the challenge of retyping information, as seen in the case of physical books.
The use of e-texts is increasingly becoming common in contemporary society. Many readers prefer using these digital texts over physical books because they are cost-effective, readily available and accessible, and highly portable. Therefore, contemporary educationists should help students understand these benefits for effective use.
Engbrecht, J. R. (2018). Digital textbooks versus print textbooks. Culminating Projects in Teacher Development, 5(35), 1-29. Retrieved from https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1037&context=ed_etds.
Kouis, D. & Konstantinou, N. (2014). Electronic textbooks advantages and challenges for the Hellenic higher education and publishing community. Library Review, 63(6/7), 531-543. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267029533_Electronic_textbooks_advantages_and_challenges_for_the_Hellenic_higher_education_and_publishing_community.
McNeil, A. (2019 September). Print textbooks vs. e-textbooks: What's the difference? Investopedia. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0912/print-textbooks-vs.-e-textbooks.aspx.
Waller, D. (2013). Current advantages and disadvantages of using e-textbooks in Texas higher education. Focus On Colleges, Universities, and Schools, 7(1), 1-6.
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