Online textbooks are convenient, accessible and user-friendly. They provide a better learning experience with combining visual information such as graphics, images, audios and animations. It is represented by the best future of embedded videos and hyperlinks to supplemental studies. This kind of education is more interactive and sustaining for young generations.
However, many argue the risk and challenge online textbooks would take.
-Cost: It is believed that due to the copyright issue, there is no way to publishing all kinds of textbooks online for free. Thus, students may buy books from the internet such as ebay or iBooks from the apple store.
-Convenience: The internet based database and information network is easy to access when there is a wifi or internet connection. Further, electronic devices need to charge in regular which requires the electric supply.
-Usage: According to researches, long-term usage with electronic devices is bad for children in terms of eyes damaging and physical growth. For teens and young adults, the technical devices addiction is also a “social symptom”.
Jon Fortenbury argues the potential challenge in his blog whether digital textbooks are a solution or a distraction for students. http://www.schools.com/articles/digital-textbooks-solution-or-distraction.html
As a member of “free agency” generation, do you prefer visualized education with a direct and instant access?
Comparing with visualized education, the old school physical books are a bit dull especially like textbooks which aim to educate people. Today’s visualization makes information beautiful. It gives solid objects and abstract knowledge lives and vivid images. For example, music can be visualized into different curves, shapes and colors. The transformation creates a linked space between sound and vision. Using the visualized knowledge to educate students is interesting and attractive by introducing a totally different version of study comparing with the traditional understands. Thus, visual education is a “nod” among different senses that connects the reality with imagination.
This website illustrates the beautiful transformation made by visualization. http://infosthetics.com/
To use visualized textbook has another advantage that assembles information effectively in engaged ways (e.g. animations). To illustrate knowledge or theories through graphics, videos, or other visualized forms make things attractive and engaged. For example, use comics and exaggerated pictures to demonstrate today’s politicians and politics tendency (e.g. Political Cartoons Website http://www.politicalcartoons.com/). On one hand, it makes pressure topics easy; on the other hand, it expands education aims. Further, everyone from the free agency generation is a publisher, which makes university students easier and happier to take the way of online education and e-version of textbooks.