Getting Smarter About Textbook Options
Lots of eco-friendly minded people are going back to school, as are thousands more who may not be thinking so much or so deeply about the environment. And times are certainly changing, given the recent economic slump that has driven people into unemployment, or on the positive side, back into new degree programs as step one of beginning a new career, and hopefully, a new life.
So what are the possibilities when it comes to going back to school, and working towards being a bit more environmentally aware or active? With so many kinds of degrees available these days, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, a student with a mind for the planet doesn’t merely have to choose a course of study that benefits the environment. No way. When one discovers the developments of eTextbooks, and the rapid availability of various titles across many academic disciplines, it’s pretty easy to do something positive for the environment, and something that may make more sense for many students, too.
How eTextbooks Work: The Benefits of Working Digitally
While many of us older students who are returning to school may wonder just how these new digital textbooks work, and whether or not they’re as useful or practical as the old-school heavy book, younger students who have been effectively “raised” on the Internet may have no problem whatsoever making the transition to a more technology-based study or learning atmosphere.
So consider the costs, then, if you are wondering how eTextbooks can benefit students, as everyone’s pocketbooks are on the mind these days. Sure, you can “sell back” your used texts, but at what kind of a discount? You paid a fortune for them, and in many cases, the eTextbook versions are cheaper. Certainly, they represent the most portable option, and with the rise of technology as a tool of learning on most college campuses or virtual classrooms, it just makes sense.
Once you’ve bought your iPad or Kindle or other reading device, the only thing left to purchase is the digital version of the textbook. Start by finding a service that works for you and the classes you’re taking, or school into which you’ve enrolled. In many cases, there may be a preferred eTextbook provider for your school, or for the teacher of a particular class. Sign up for that service, and then search for the titles of your textbooks the exact same way you would look for something in Google.
Once you find the titles you are looking for, and check to make sure you’re looking at the correct edition or version, simply add the
title to your “shopping cart,” and when you’re done shopping, “check out.” What does this mean? You pay for the license, in a sense, to use the eTextbook, and can log in at any time to use the book, which is kept on a virtual bookshelf with the rest of the semester’s books.
In many cases, highly functional search technology allows a student to go to the exact place where they need to reference or study a person, an event, or a concept, cutting down on wasted time turning pages, and making the process of studying a very precise activity. Further, this brings real world skills such as using the Internet for research purposes, to bear on the world of academia. Some eTextbooks allow users to take notes, to highlight important passages, to email sections to study partners or classmates, and to link over to other supplemental areas of research.
All in all, the eTextbook, while it may require some getting used to for some students, represents a major potential step forward in the world of college level studies. Better for the environment, in many cases cheaper, definitely more portable, and quite easy to use.
If you’ve switched over to eTextbooks already, leave a comment below and let us know how they’ve worked out for you.
[Photo Via: lollygirl.com]