The Digital Textbook Divide


April 15, 2013
by Mike Sheffey

Online and digital textbooks are a growing resource for college students. They can be cheap, interactive, fun and sometimes more useful than their traditional predecessors. And now there is a surge of technology for professors to use as well, including ways to digitally check if their students are reading the assigned material.

Online and digital textbooks are a growing resource for college students. They can be cheap, interactive, fun and sometimes more useful than their traditional predecessors. And now there is a surge of technology for professors to use as well, including ways to digitally check if their students are reading the assigned material.

I personally have only used digital textbooks as accompaniments to hardcover books but the concept of an entirely digital book is enticing. Only having to carry around a tablet or laptop is a great thing for students burdened by long walks across campus with clunky book bags. But when I’m assigned a reading, I assume that the teacher trusts that I’ll do it – not that I necessarily have to but because it will benefit me in the long run. I think that checking via software forces students to do something that a good student would already do. And I think that most college students aren't attending college to NOT do their assignments; it’s not a cheap investment to just sit around!

Honor codes at most colleges deal with assignments, cheating, etc. The idea is great but its execution comes across a bit untrusting from professors. It may also not be the best way to keep tabs on student learning. For some, this kind of checking could benefit them but students have their own unique study methods and could do poorly on the online checks but still ace tests. Programs like CourseSmart (one of the online data collecting programs) could be useful to chart progress overall but to place grades or too much merit in the technology conveys a message to students that professors don’t trust their commitment to coursework. People learn different ways and should be given the opportunity to study, read and work the way that is best for them.

Overall, the idea of digital textbooks is a great one if used properly: as an additional resource and not a primary way of determining student learning. Other resources, quizzes and methods should be used as well to provide a balance in various learning styles. What has your experience with digital textbooks been?

Mike Sheffey is a junior at Wofford College double majoring in computer science and Spanish. He loves all things music and has recently taken up photography. Mike works for an on-campus sports broadcasting company as well as the music news blog PropertyOfZack.com. He hopes to use this blogging position to inform and assist others who are seeking the right college or those currently enrolled in college by providing advice on college life, both in general and specific to Wofford.

College is expensive, Scholarships.com is completely free. Pay for your college education with as much free college scholarship money as possible. By applying to all the awards you qualify for, you can be sure to not miss a single opportunity in paying for your college expenses - including tuition, fees, room and board. Get matched to college scholarships instantly and start applying today by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
Monroe College's IT system was hacked last week, disabling many of its technology systems and platforms as hackers demanded $2 million ransom in Bitcoin to restore access. Faculty, students and staff members were locked out of the college's websites but continued to attend class and hand in homework, regardless.

Another College Cyber Attacked, Hackers Demand $2M Ransom

July 16, 2019 4:16 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Monroe College's IT system was hacked last week, disabling many of its technology systems and platforms as hackers demanded $2 million ransom in Bitcoin to restore access. Faculty, students and staff
 Three San Bernardino County women who have been accused of stealing $1 million in federal financial aid from Fullerton college, in California, have been arrested by the U.S. Justice Department and are charged with various counts of mail and wire fraud. The scheme involved enrolling hundreds of mainly non-existent students, successfully applying for grants and loans and pocketing the money.

3 Women Charged in $1M Student Financial Aid Fraud

July 2, 2019 11:07 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Three San Bernardino County women who have been accused of stealing $1 million in federal financial aid from Fullerton college, in California, have been arrested by the U.S. Justice Department and

    Nothing says 'Merica like these Patriotic Scholarships as we approach Independence Day and remember how, in America, education is a great equalizer. Whether you are an American citizen searching for college scholarships or are studying abroad in the USA, these American-themed scholarships are for those who truly believe in the American dream. In the land of the free, we have plenty of free college scholarships to help you achieve your higher education dreams.

Patriotic Scholarships that Celebrate America

June 27, 2019 1:33 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Nothing says 'Merica like these Patriotic Scholarships as we approach Independence Day and remember how, in America, education is a great equalizer. Whether you are an American citizen

    In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month this June, Scholarships.com is recognizing the success of, and providing financial aid resources to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer community and its allies through featured LGBTQ scholarships. These colorful LGBTQ scholarships are not only intended for those who identify as LBTQ or are questioning, but are available to LGBTQ parents and allies, as well. Below is a preview of LGBTQ scholarships that were created to provide economic mobility and equality for LGBTQ students and allies who may face unique challenges on their educational journeys. For even more LGBTQ scholarships, Parent LGBTQ scholarships or LGBTQ Ally scholarships, visit here.

LGBTQ Scholarships for Pride Month

June 6, 2019 3:22 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month this June, Scholarships.com is recognizing the success of, and providing financial aid resources to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer community

    We're bringing the heat with these fiery summer scholarships for which you can apply this summer break. While scholarships are offered year-round, many students have more free time during the summer to devote to scholarship essays and applications, so we encourage you to prioritize financial aid in-between basking in the sun.

Sizzling Summer 2019 Scholarships

June 5, 2019 11:21 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
We're bringing the heat with these fiery summer scholarships for which you can apply this summer break. While scholarships are offered year-round, many students have more free time during the
 China's Ministry of Education is warning its students about studying in the United States in its first study abroad alert of the year. Students are advised to prepare accordingly given the potential difficulties in acquiring visas since the visa review period has been extended, the validity period has been shortened and the refusal rate has increased.

China Warns Students Against Studying in the U.S.

June 4, 2019 4:24 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
China's Ministry of Education is warning its students about studying in the United States in its first "study abroad alert" of the year. Students are advised to "prepare accordingly" given the