Will Digital Textbooks Work for Students?

Will Digital Textbooks Work for Students?
A few days ago, Andrea James of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Amazon blog confirmed rumors that Amazon will be targeting college students with its next version of the Kindle eBook reader. Getting into the college market makes heaps of sense for Amazon — the college textbook market is estimated at $5.5 billion — and it makes sense for students too.

Students spend an average of $702 per year on required course materials each year, according to the National Association of College Stores (PDF). You can bet that most of that is probably spent on textbooks, which run $53 each on average (new, and $48 each used). The College Board recommends that students budget up to $1,229 for books and supplies depending on the institution they attend. And it’s getting worse: the price of textbooks in the US is rising at twice the rate of inflation.

A $359 one-time cost for a device that could be used all four (or more) years of university would solve the cost issues if eBook prices could be kept down — especially if any of those costs could be subsidized by the university. Many textbook publishers are already putting out digital copies of their books. McGraw-Hill publishes nearly 95% of its textbooks digitally in addition to print versions, for example. So there is already a willingness among publishers to try digital distribution.

But there are still problems.

According to a new study by a handful of Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), digital textbooks right now are heading down the wrong path for students. Most startlingly, the study found that digital textbooks right now actually cost more than their print counterparts, which completely erases perhaps the biggest potential benefit of electronic textbook distribution (aside from obvious environmental impacts). The Student PIRGs found that digital textbooks “cost on average 39% more than a used hard copy of the same title bought and sold back online.”

The study also found that digital textbooks are difficult to print. It may seem counter intuitive to print a digital textbook, but it is necessary for some students. Further, taking notes on a digital textbook is difficult. The Kindle supports typed text notes, but they’re not nearly as intuitive and easy to use as a highlighter, sticky notes, or scribbling in the margins of a printed book. Because everyone has different study habits, typing notes on the Kindle won’t work for every student.

Finally, the report found that many students were wary of digital textbooks that could only be viewed on a computer screen. That Kindle would actually solve that problem, but the study found that 75% of textbooks surveyed expired after 180 days, which the Student PIRGs say is unacceptable. Once purchased, students should be able to keep and read digital textbooks indefinitely.

The report lays out three requirements for digital textbooks that would make them work for students: lower prices, better printing options, and accessibility. It is certainly possible for Amazon and textbook publishers to meet these criteria and successfully create digital textbooks that students would find more useful than print books. If Amazon seriously wants a piece of that $5.5 million billion market they might be wise to pay attention to what the students are saying.


Category: news Time: 2008-08-27 Views: 2

Related post

  • Deploying internal certificate via GPO - will this only work for IE? 2010-12-08

    I am contemplating adding AD CA role to our server and using GPO to add a self signed, trusted certificate to all internal clients (to ease testing)... Some of the related questions regarding this are: How do I deploy an internal certificate authorit

  • Will shared hosting work for my case? 2012-02-21

    I need to host a JSF application backed by a NoSQL database (Cassandra, which operates on a cluster of nodes). I'm going to purchase a set of VPS to maintain the database server cluster. But to host the application should I consider purchasing a VPS

  • Will these LEDs work for throwies? 2010-12-22

    I'm going to try to build some throwies soon and am ordering some LEDs and other needed things for the task. It is my understanding that a CR2032 battery is 2.6-3.1 volts. Well, I have these LEDs picked out. 660 nm wavelength 1.85-2.5V Forward Voltag

  • Will this RAM work for me? (Late 2009 iMac) 2012-12-14

    I have a 27-inch iMac late 2009 desktop computer and i'm looking to upgrade my ram. The best RAM I can find is a Kingston 2GB, DDR3-1066, PC3-8500, CL7, DIMM. What I currently have is 4GB 1067 MHz Ram Will this be suitable? Or is this the wrong one?

  • Will four wires work for crystal radio coil? 2015-05-22

    I'm attempting to build a crystal radio, and I have an old telphone cable with four copper wires, similar to the one pictured. I would like to use it to build the coil for the set, and I was wondering if it would be possible to use all four wires rat

  • Will massage electrodes work for eeg? 2016-07-15

    Have anyone tried to use massage electrodes for eeg? I believe as they conduct high charges probably using inexpensive metals they are not suitable for measuring tiny voltage changes but I'm not sure. --------------Solutions------------- What matters

  • Does Power Nap work for multiple users? 2012-12-22

    My wife and I share a laptop at the house. Because iCloud works best when each individual has their own account (in particular reminders and photos), we each have our own iCloud accounts and therefor our own photo streams. I love that Power Nap will

  • How do I treat requests for work for causes that go against my personal principles? 2015-09-14

    Recently, I received a request for a quote from a party that promotes and teaches an ideology that diametrically opposes my own beliefs. The job involved designing promotion material for classes and lectures about the ideology. How do I treat such a

  • If the public key can't be used for decrypting something encrypted by the private key, then how do digital signatures work? 2015-05-02

    I'm learning asymmetric encryption in the use case of ssl/tls protocol. I can understand that the public key (like a padlock) can encrypt (lock) something and only the private key can decrypt (open) it. But I just can't understand the other way aroun

  • What Windows 7 Product Keys will work for Bootcamp! 2013-11-15

    I am trying to setup Bootcamp, but am having a tough time. I know this question has been asked previously, but all of the answers are outdated. What SKU product key for Windows 7 is licensed for Bootcanp on 2013 MacBook Pro? Keep in mind I don't have

  • Will this OP AMP work for this application? 2016-02-06

    I designed the following circuit in CircuitLab. My question isn't about the whole thing, but rather about the TL081 Operation Amplifiers that circuitlab uses as a default(data sheet found here). – Schematic created using CircuitLab This design is mea

  • Outlook 2007 will not send/receive using RPC over HTTP to an exchange server.. works for other users and this user in past.. need help 2010-02-23

    I have an incredibly frustrating user issue that I have been unable to resolve for over a week, any ideas for this would be greatly appreciated. The user is having troubles using Outlook 2007 to send or receive emails over using RPC over HTTP (Outloo

  • Will the same Flash game business model work for HTML5 games? 2010-09-15

    One of the best ways to earn money with Flash games is by making sponsorship deals. The developer puts the sponsor's logo and a link to their site in the game and lets the game spread around the web. The sponsor gains money from the ads and the extra

  • Will external monitor work if video card for laptop is bad? 2010-09-16

    Okay, so I'm making another topic here to clarify. The video card for this Dell Inspiron 1420 Vista laptop (NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS) is fried, and lets just say it for sure doesn't work. Before anyone tries to convince me otherwise, this is pretty mu

  • what format will work for Mac and windows and handle an 8Gb to 20 Gb file? 2011-03-25

    I want to move my linux virtual machine's .vdi file from my Mac to my PC It's a dropbox VM, and i'm pretty sure it will work on the PC, i just need a way to move it. I have a 16Gb USB and i've compressed the file down to 8 Gb in zip which seem to wor

  • Will I learn more freelancing or working for a company? 2011-05-31

    I got out of school about a year ago, and have been freelancing since then. Sometimes it seems like it would be a good idea to work for a company for a few years, to learn from people with more experience than I have. But on the other hand, working f

  • Will all capacitive styluses (for iPad, etc.) work just as well on a MacBook Pro trackpad? 2012-02-12

    I'm looking to get a capacitive stylus to use on my MacBook Pro's trackpad for quick sketches. This article by MacWorld and other reviews seem to indicate that the Griffin stylus and the Wacom Bamboo stylus are a couple of the best ones. But everyone

  • Will an external flash for Pentax K-7 work for Pentax K-5? 2012-09-20

    I'm looking for a cheap flash, and found this one. It states that it works for Pentax K-7; will it work for my Pentax K-5 as well? I don't know what to look for in the specifications. --------------Solutions------------- It depends on what you call "

  • Will a digital potentiometer work with 230 volts (ac)? 2012-11-13

    Will a digital potentiometer work in a circuit that uses UK mains power (230vac)? I want to be able to adjust the voltage digitally. How could I digitally (or non-manually) control the voltage of a 230vac circuit? --------------Solutions-------------

iOS development

Android development

Python development

JAVA development

Development language

PHP development

Ruby development


Front-end development


development tools

Open Platform

Javascript development

.NET development

cloud computing


Copyright (C) avrocks.com, All Rights Reserved.

processed in 2.129 (s). 13 q(s)