The very first thing that science can do is to wipe out already existing systems and traditions, from manual trains to electronic subways, from post mails to emails to social messaging, from landline telephones to mobile devices. Now even the new trends are trying to somehow intrude into the world’s organized education system, including its books for educative purposes. Of course, with all the demands for new technologies, it is inevitable that the demands for electronic textbooks might just happen sooner or later, and in this case, it is definitely sooner.
But really, how will these digital textbooks fare in the next five years? Let’s take a look into this comparison.
A five year projection for the sales of digital textbooks is assumed to increase to 18.8% while the printed books are expected to go down in production to 85% as a number of people would already be using the digital textbooks. Investments wise in leading countries, South Korea is currently investing $2 billion to make sure that their books by 2015 would be digital, and it has less than 50 million people. If considered in the US perspective, that’s about $10 billion dollars and the US having 312 million people. About $5.5 billion worth of new textbooks are printed per year that means several trees are cut down for the printing. Digital textbooks are assumed to be cheaper because you can use them over and over again, since only the books and not the devices themselves will be new per year. However, even if trees are not cut down, the materials used for the production of the devices for the digital textbooks will probably have effects on the environment as well. The trees are cut down, but paper’s biodegradable thus it cannot harm the environment. Whereas plastic and metal? Are definitely non-biodegradable, so how can the world get rid of them?
Really then, the things above are only considering the comparison between the production of the two. How about the effects on students? Online Education shows the advantages of using digital textbooks in the form of iPads in learning. Although it is true that such can make learning more fun for students, how about its long time effects? Consider this, how will the students learn how to write if they are automatically introduce to the use of technology in learning? Surely, clicking on things is not equivalent to writing.