E-textbooks Offer The Next Wave Of Academic Technology

E-textbooks Offer The Next Wave Of Academic Technology

E-textbooks Offer The Next Wave Of Academic Technology

E-textbooks

If you’ve never used an e-textbook, you may not be aware of what it can do. You may even be under the impression that an e-textbook is nothing more than a massive PDF file. Not quite. You may also think that e-books require a special reader in order to be viewed. Not really. In fact, the e-book platform of choice among academic publishers, VitalSource Bookshelf is PC and Mac compatible. It is also free and full of functionalities designed to enhance the learning process. E-textbooks loaded on Bookshelf allow you to:
Highlight your digital copy with multiple colors of virtual markers for color coding.

Take digital notes.
Share notes and highlights with classmates by building a network of friends in your class who are also reading a copy of the e-textbook. This is done directly on the e-textbook’s page, thanks to the platform’s social networking technology.
Rank your classmates’ notes for easy access to the most useful annotations (make sure you befriend the guy at the top of your Philosophy class…).
Create folders directly on Bookshelf where you can place not only books but also materials from the Web or other applications such as Word or PowerPoint. You can add a link to the folder by simply dragging the hyperlink to the folder, and you can drag files from your computer to folders also.
Access e-textbooks, notes, folders content, etc. online or offline.
Copy-paste text and have the bibliographical information automatically generated.
Perhaps most relevant to final exam season is these e-books’ search capabilities. They allow you to search for a concept, name, topic etc. within your notes, a specific classmate’s notes, a book, even your entire digital library.
Here’s a demo from VitalSource, the technology company that developed Bookshelf, that can help bring to life what I’ve just described:
One of the reasons why this platform is so powerful is it was originally developed as a research project focused specifically on textbooks. It was meant for students and was refined to take into consideration feedback from students and professors who adopted the technology early on. Today, approximately one out of three dental schools in the US are using VitalSource e-textbooks. Some colleges have migrated the entire curriculum to the platform and gone 100 percent digital. Such is the case of NYU’s College of Dentistry.
As you may already have noticed at campus bookstores, more publishers are making textbooks available in electronic format. When Fall comes around you will likely seen dozens more titles for sale in e-book format – McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education and other top publishers are investing heavily in this space. What’s more, these editions will likely be offered at a discounted price, making them an attractive alternative to new and even used textbooks. E-textbooks can be purchased online, at campus bookstores and other retailers nationwide.

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