are etextbooks better than traditional textbooks? a comparison of the different services and required hardware
Some are solid 4 inch thick!
Paper is not light.
The weight of a pile of books is very large.
Imagine being able to narrow down your textbooks so that when placed in a pile of books, three huge books weighing 10 pounds and standing around 6 inch turn into one weighing about a pound and less than a thickness.
Not only is this more comfortable and convenient, but this new textbook can be searched to access vocabulary quickly and easily with just one click.
If you haven\'t guessed it yet, I\'m talking about eTextbooks, a new technology that can complement or even replace old-fashioned textbooks.
What is ETextbooks?
ETextbooks, also known as digital textbooks, is a computerized version of old-fashioned paper textbooks.
The digital version usually has the same material as the original copy.
Some digital textbooks now provide more information.
The text will have everything that a paper copy has, the same pagination as a paper copy, and then add features like movies or animations.
The digital version makes a big difference in the functionality provided.
Each book, textbook edition, and provider will be different.
If you want to get the eTextbook, be sure to see what you will get from a different provider.
E-books usually have some common features that are not available in traditional textbooks.
First of all, fonts can often be changed.
Many e-books allow you to resize and style your fonts.
Second, many e-books allow you to change the brightness and background color.
Typical colors are white, dark brown or black.
E-books can have live links.
All you need to do is click on the underlined part of the text and it will display a glossary, chart, website, or other material.
Many e-books can be read to you by text to voice.
Any text on IOS or OSX will have this feature.
It is also available in many e-reader programs.
Finally, e-books are searchable and often have searchable notes and highlighting features.
What hardware do you need to use eTextbook?
In general, you need at least one Mac or Windows computer.
Some tablet apps allow you to download directly to your tablet, but this varies from company to company.
The Android or iPad tablet will make your book more portable.
Also, when this is an option, the touch screen on these devices makes it easier to highlight and take notes.
The benefit of a computer or tablet is that you can provide software for multiple providers on the same gadget.
Another benefit of computers and tablets is that you have a color screen.
Some apps will also run on Android or iOS phones.
These are more and more difficult to read.
Finally, you can use a dedicated e-reader.
The challenge here is that while eInk is often easier to read, many of the eTexts are not available for versions of eInk readers.
Another problem with dedicated readers is that you often can\'t run software from other companies.
The Kindle is particularly picky in this regard.
More specific information will be given on each part of the eTextbook provider.
Where can I buy a digital textbook?
There are several ways to get a digital textbook.
First of all, I suggest you check out your University Bookstore website.
Some of them are now offering links to digital textbook services.
Next, you can check the different services online.
I will summarize some current eTextbook providers below.
Finally, you can try searching online for your textbook title and words \"eTextbook\", \"digital\", \"eBook\", \"PDF\" or \"ePub \".
If you take this route, don\'t download any \"free\" copies you find.
Adhere to legal providers such as book publishers or other eText services.
This will help to avoid any copyright infringement.
If you \'ve checked all of these options and can\'t find what you\'re looking for, you can get a paper copy of the text and scan it.
This can be a very long process, because many textbooks are 500-
Up to 1,000 pages
If you are up to the task, please review the article on the Legal Geekery titled \"How to digitize your textbook \".
\"This article has great guidance for scanning your textbook.
If you find these steps too time consuming, try a service that scans the text for you.
Many moms and pop print shops will be able to help you with this.
You can also find the book scanning service online.
An example of the online scanning service is the blue leaf.
Requirements: iPad, iPhone, computer (
Safari, Chrome only)
Ownership options: full ownership of e-books, excluding repurchase options: separate sections or full textbook website: https://www . inkling.
ComFree sample: Yes-
One of my favorite chapters is a separate section of most books.
In is fast, easy to navigate and does not use textbooks as traditional books.
These e-books navigate through an intuitive column system that uses sliding and scrolling to quickly get to where you want to go by navigating the chapter titles.
It has notes and highlights.
Both tools are indexed and searchable.
Pictures and tables are enlarged when clicked.
Many pictures have animations to enhance understanding.
Books can include a wide range of multimedia, including animations, movies, 3D pictures, layered images, quizzes, etc.
It also includes the dictionary and the ability to search online for any words that are not in the vocabulary of the text.
The only downside is the price.
It is one of the suppliers with higher prices.
Also, it has very few textbook titles at this time.
I really suggest you check it out.
Go to the site and see if your text is available.
If so, download a free section and see what you think.
Requirements for Amazon Kindle eTextbooksHardware: Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, Kindle, PC, Mac (
Print Copy textbook can only be used on Kindle Fire, iPad, Mac or PC)
Ownership option: full ownership, rental purchase option to purchase can be selected at the end of the lease period: Complete Textbook website: http://www . amazon.
ComFree sample: Yes-
The first chapter is that freeAmazon entered the eTextbook competition with its own products.
Textbooks may or may not match the printed format of the book.
Amazon has unique features for variable lease periods.
When you buy this book, you can choose at 30-360 days.
You can extend the rent once it has expired, or you can purchase the book.
All your notes and highlights will be left in the book.
Amazon offers a 7-day return period for all textbooks.
Notes and highlights will be synchronized on multiple devices.
Amazon credit card users will get points when they buy eText.
A large number of titles can be obtained through this service.
Chegg eTextbooksHardware requirements: access via web (iPad, Mac, PC)
Use Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 9, ChromeOwnership options: 180-day shopalpurchase option: Complete textbook website: http://www . chegg.
Com/etextbookFree example: Select the book sample provided, seven-day sample, when delivering a traditional textbook.
Chegg was originally a traditional textbook rental company.
Since then, they have expanded to e-books.
They have a neat feature.
If you order a paper book from them, you can access this title as eTextbook when the book is out of the library.
In this way, you can have class while you are waiting for your book.
All e-books for Chegg require an active Internet connection to access.
If you\'re in an area that doesn\'t have coverage, or you don\'t want to use your data, it could be a downside.
Like everyone else, it includes notes and highlight functions.
Chegg runs a homework help section on their website.
This means that any Chegg user can get some extra help.
Required hardware: iPadOwnership option: purchasing epurchase option: Complete textbook website: http://www . apple.
Com/free sample: With the advent of iBooks 2, NoApple started offering textbooks.
These words are made specifically for the iPad.
These e-books can include 3D imaging, interactive pictures, galleries, and study notes that can be viewed.
IBooks 2 includes the same notes and highlighting features as other programs.
Apple has developed its own textbook design software, hoping to reduce the price of textbooks.
Many of their texts are less than $20. 00.
At this time, the title is mainly for K-12.
I haven\'t seen any textbooks in iBooks with equivalent paper copies yet, but, if you\'re struggling on a topic, they\'re really good partners.
Hope to have more university-level titles.
VitalSourceRequired hardware: Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, web browser ownership option: purchase, 180 day rental purchase option: Full textbook, some http://store . vitalsource.
ComFree Sample: limited choice booksVitalSource is another e-book provider with a large number of e-books.
This is a great place to look for the textbooks you need.
To read VitalBooks, you need the VitalSource app on your computer or tablet or a web browser that has access to their website.
You can install this book on two different devices.
Like in, the format of this book is unique to this provider.
It is not the same as the printed text, but does include the page number and chapter number that matches the book.
I found that I really prefer those apps that build the book format into the ebook format.
It\'s easier for them to read and browse when they look more like e-books than paper books.
VitalSource is able to search all your textbooks simultaneously from their app.
This makes it easy to find information when you need it.
VitalSource is able to print a limited number of pages from each book.
Restrictions vary depending on the title.
Like other eTextbook programs, you can copy, paste, highlight, and take notes in VitalSource.
Very similar to the price of Amazon Kindle textbooks.
Some schools are connecting this provider to their distance learning web applications such as angels or blackboards. Coursesmart a. k. a.
Required hardware: iPhone, iPad, Android, web browser (
Firefox, Safari, Chrome)
Ownership options: 180-
Days rentalpurchase options: all textbookwebsite: http://www . coursesmart.
Comor http://www . ecampus.
ComFree sample: free preview the sample text that comes with coursesmart is one of the original eTextbook providers.
They have been there for many years.
Ecampu is selling eTextbook services using Coursesmart.
You can get the same material using any of the websites.
To a large extent, you have to have Internet access to get into your textbooks.
Coursesmart does allow a limited portion of up to five textbooks to be cached on your computer or iOS device for offline reading.
For charts available online and offline, see below.
Notes and highlight are supported.
You can also print up to 10 pages at a time from any of your e-books.
Hardware: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, web browser with Flash support (
Limited offline capability)
Ownership options: varies from title to title, some are rent, some are own purchase options: Complete Textbook website: http://www . cafescribe.
ComFree example: yesCafeScribe is run by publisher or university textbook Follett Higher Education Services.
It emphasizes social learning tools.
Students can connect with each other through software or through lecturers.
As with other providers, CafeScribe has many digital notes, highlighting, and search capabilities.
The provider has both online and offline features.
CafeScribe has a text-to-speech feature built into the reader so that it can be easily found without any technical knowledge.
CafeScribe is an online e-reader, but it allows you to use e-books offline within 10 days.
Up to 30% of each textbook can be printed or copied and pasted into a new document.
XplanaRequired hardware: iPhone, Android, web ownership options: ownPurchase options: Complete Textbook website: http://www . xplana.
ComFree example: noXplana is a social networking center created for students.
It has a large number of note-taking functions for recording and recording lecture notes, the means of speaking with other students, and other tools for organizing and sharing educational materials.
However, the focus of Xplana is not to be an eTextbook provider, which is a feature of it.
The current academic library seems to be small.
Also, I can\'t find any school in their database that I\'m attending.
I guess there are not many organizations joining Xplana at the moment.
Hardware: iPad, Samsung Galaxy Note, web, Windows 7 ownership option: 6 month rental with purchase option: Complete Textbook website: http://www . kno.
ComFree Sample: The Sample book that comes with free demoKnow looks like one of the most innovative eTextbook providers.
They were originally tablet computer companies.
Kno regrouped when the plan failed and decided to take the software route.
From what I have seen, this is a good choice. Kno has both K-
12 and university texts.
There seems to be a lot of textbooks available for Kno.
Know has a unique range of features.
First of all, Kno includes the course manager.
This manager is a way to organize and organize eTexts by course or semester.
Kno allows you to save virtual logs.
You can clip text and graphics into your diary.
There can also be glue inside.
Search includes not only journals, but also books, courses, and terms.
Surprisingly, Kno will automatically make flash cards for you.
Another very unique feature of Kno is smartlinks.
Kno creates smart links for your specific textbook.
These smart links are links to external resources that cover the material in the text.
The Kno has 3D operating graphics and is able to use pen mode to write on the text and take notes in the margins.
This makes it possible to be the only e-reader that lets you take notes in the blank space.
All charts have a test me mode so you can see if you know what you have.
Finally, it runs on its own cloud and integrates the Dropbox.
I haven\'t had a chance to own my own Kno textbook yet, but the demo I looked at and the features listed made it top of my list.
Some final ideas about e-books are different from traditional paper books e-book publishers use different page layouts for the same titles.
I prefer those that look like e-books, not those that look like print paper.
I recommend downloading samples from different providers to see what you prefer.
Inkling is the most unique and inconspicuous book-
Like eTextbook Publishers
VitalSource and Kno also have unique formats.
These publishers have many titles.
IBooks 2 also has a unique look, but the focus seems to be more K-
12 pairs of collegial system.
If you need this book as a lifelong reference, either stick to paper or take an ebook and paper.
If any of these companies fail or change software, you may lose the book.
Many e-books look really cool in terms of social learning.
The problem is that there are a lot of companies offering each title.
Your classmates and teachers are less likely to use the same eTextbook provider.
Unless the class uses the same platform to avoid the traditional paper format, these files are of little value.
The eTextbook revolution is a miracle if your eyesight is damaged.
There are more and more eTextbook titles that match the standard paper titles.
In the absence of additional software, you will be able to access the text to voice and enlarge the text.
Some e-books are also equipped with Braille.
For people with fine motion challenges, the touch screen on the iPad is much easier than flipping through the book.