With everything going digital, traditional textbooks still remain. However, e-books have become a growing alternative to hard copy textbooks.
E-books are books or textbooks that can be accessed online or used on a mobile device.
According to a New York Times article, 32 percent of faculty members at institutes of higher learning make e-book options available to students.
The survey also found that most faculty members prefer print textbooks to the electronic version. Twelve percent of the faculty prefers e-books to print.
“I like having the actual book. Staring at a computer screen for that long would hurt my eyes,” said Derek Scott, a freshman studying exercise physiology.
Scott said his American Foundations class offered an e-book but it wasn’t contracted through the school. He said it would have taken two weeks for it to get here since it was a CD and was harder than just buying the textbook.
“It would be great to have e-books because they cost less, but honestly, textbooks are better because you can write in them,” said Ashlee West, a sophomore studying health science.
According to the New York Times, 16 percent of students prefer e-books to print.
West said she bought a textbook for her biology statistics class even though the book was offered for free online.
“I love writing in my books,” West said. “If I have it on my computer, I always have to have my laptop on me and my charger. It’s [more difficult], even though the book was free online.”
Some students think that it would be a good idea to implement e-books.
“I would rather have an e-book if they are cheaper,” said Bennett Jacobs, a freshman studying English.
Jacobs said that books are more expensive and the return rate is not that great. He said that sometimes he only gets $5 at the book buyback at the end of each semester.
One alternate option to textbooks are the tablets or e-readers. They are portable and can store hundreds of books.
“The Kindle doesn’t seem bad. I would consider it if all my classes offered e-book,” Scott said. “It would be a lot easier to carry around.”
In a study done by www.bowker.com, there was a 75 percent satisfaction rate with e-readers.
Less than 5 percent of the people surveyed said that e-readers were not a good value for the cost.
“I have considered buying one, but that’s as far as I have thought,” West said. “It would probably pay itself off, but textbooks are just easier for me.”
Some students said they still use textbooks because they are easy to take notes in and can be used over and over again.
“I would rather have the textbooks so I can have them for the rest of my career,” Scott said.
E-books can be rented from the BYU-Idaho Bookstore for six months and can be accessed on most devices with an internet connection.
According to www.onlineeducation.net, the average textbook in 2011 cost $175, and e-books typically cost half as much.
As technology advances every year and gets more user-friendly, it plays a bigger role in schools.
Services like BrainHoney allow many students to turn in homework assignments online.
Many quizzes and tests are taken online as well.