iPad Project - John Carroll University
Institutions of higher learning are exploring eBooks as an alternative to the printed textbook. There is no doubt that the digital textbook will eventually replace paper textbooks.
Advantages of the Digital Textbook
1. Lower cost - institutions are discovering that they can negotiate with publishers to obtain textbooks for their students in digital form at about one third the cost of printed textbooks (see Digital Textbook Projects below).
2. Portability - a large collection of digital textbooks can be stored on a device weighing less than one textbook (e.g. iPad)
3. The Digital Advantage - the digital textbook can provide features not possible with a print version:
A. Search function - search for any word in the text
B. Built-in dictionary - select a word in the text and quickly retrieve the definition
C. Annotation functions - student can easily add as much annotation as desired; not limited by margins as in a printed version; also share annotations with others
D. Hyperlinking - links to online resources can be incorporated into the text by the author
E. Embedded Multimedia - audio and video can be incorporated directly into a digital textbook
Digital Advantage for Faculty
Printed textbooks fall largely within the domain of proprietary materials provided by textbook publishers. Past the dawn of the digital age, there is a growing body of open source information that faculty can draw upon to compliment proprietary material. Self-published material is also incorporated with ease in a digital form as it circumvents the expenses and time required to produce printed pages.
By offering students texts that incorporate open source and self-published material, the faculty member can reduce the costs of textbooks even further.
Digital Textbook Projects
Indiana University - Courseload
Daytona State College
For educators interested in using iPads, see our Technical details regarding utilization of iPads