As a college student, I have seen a lot of changes in the use of technology in the classroom over the past few years. With the release of Apple’s iPad last year, tablet PCs have become the new craze. And, it’s a trend which is here to stay, according to a Pearson Foundation survey. According to the survey, nearly half of college students believe that tablets will take the place of paper textbooks by 2016. This seems feasible – the iPad serves as an ultra-portable, streamlined PC whose compatibility with the latest applications is enticing. As a college student, an application called iBooks (pictured below) that allows you to read your favorite books on your iPad caught my attention.
Although iBooks does not yet offer a textbook rentals option, Amazon’s Kindle rolled out this feature just last month. Students can access their textbooks on e-readers such as the Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook for a fraction of the cost. Not sure how long you will need to rent a textbook? Not a problem – Amazon offers a pay-as-you-go service that lets you start or stop a rental at your leisure.
For me, at first there was a BIG “but” in this e-reader buzz. For the first time in 15 years of schooling, my college courses are requiring the use of e-readers in place of a physical textbook. Last semester (second semester of sophomore year) I had an online textbook for an information systems class, which to me made sense. Now, for the upcoming semester while I study abroad in Spain, half of my classes will utilize e-readers in place of textbooks. These courses include Spanish literature, business management, and international marketing, all of which are bound to include lots of text and graphics. Highlighting important information and jotting down notes by hand using a textbook is a study skill that will be hard to give up. As nearly 90% of students believe tablets help them study more efficiently, I can’t help but wonder if my grades will go up. Also, almost 75% of students who own tablets, not just for reading purposes, prefer tablets to traditional textbooks. Who knew?
As it appears now, using e-readers are in students’ near futures worldwide. If you are one of the 3 out of 4 students who says studying with technology is a must, are looking to become more familiar with an e-reader, or want to be introduced (as it is in my case) to e-readers, check out a helpful program called “Kno” (pictured below) for the iPad.
Kno streamlines your course textbooks into a digital dashboard providing you with a “Kno backpack necessary” schooling experience. Features like shopping for textbooks, categorizing textbooks by class and semester, taking notes on a sticky pad, comprehensive quizzes and sharing information with friends are compiled into one application, all of which can be viewed on the iPad, the internet, and Facebook.
If you are currently in school, become acquainted with e-readers and online textbooks. You will be one step ahead of the curve!
How soon do you think this will become main stream? Are you willing to view your textbooks on a tablet?
-Chris O’Book, 451 Marketing Intern