Alternatives to College Textbooks

A college textbook weighs an average of 5 to 6 pounds. The textbook will have hundreds upon hundreds of pages of printed material, most of which will have to be flipped through repeatedly. Textbooks are heavy, very susceptible to moisture and stains, and can prove to be inconvenient when compared to the convenient, technology-based campus of today.

One need not cite any statistics to safely say that college instructors are shifting more and more of their information to electronic devices. It is practically a given in most colleges that a teacher will go through the entire course of a lesson using a powerpoint presentation. Nowadays, a student will ask for “slides” instead of the day’s notes if they missed a class.

With any classroom environment, technology allows a student to access all of (or most of, usually) their vital class information and notes online. Colleges and universities all have central school email accounts in which students, administrators, and faculty alike can communicate with one another. From there a school will almost always make use of other software to transfer files and notifications.

Software models like Angel or Blackboard are dominating college board choices for virtual classroom software. With the click of a mouse, a student can pick a class from their schedule and pull up all of the assignments, publications, and notes that the teacher put on there. They can also usually submit their coursework with the same ease.

Despite this technology, however, paper and print resources remain in use. Steady systems like colleges and universities won’t make any radical changes, like replacing all print materials, because there are still reliability and accessibility problems that newer technologies face. It is often thought that technology will replace all print materials. For the near future, despite this, that won’t be the case.

Still yet, companies and institutions are working hard to develop and incorporate new instructional technologies into schools across the country. Ebooks, for example, can take a whole bookshelf of reading materials and store it in a slim user-friendly tablet. Although, using electronic devices may not even be necessary.

The benefit of using electronics is that they can, of course, convey information quickly, remotely, and without expending physical resources to deliver information. Almost every college student in America owns a laptop. Some say that a laptop is a new requisite for a college career.

Nevertheless, laptops are becoming the new platform that will phase out printed textbooks. Since students already carry around their documents and their means of accessing the internet with them, they may as well access their reading materials online. This revelation will probably prompt universities and colleges to convert textbooks to files that can be downloaded.

Having an alternative to a college textbook could also be considered as renting or borrowing a college textbook. Classrooms often purchase a class set of textbooks for use in class and will post the assignments online. Students can always rent a book or find its online counterpart for a one time cost.

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