Advantages and disadvantages of e-books

The public discussion has mainly flared up in the expert community and on the pages of publications, and it concerns both the advantages and disadvantages of innovation. Moreover, the idea of electronic textbooks does not cause any censure. The possession and impact on children’s health of electronic books are assessed ambiguously.

Education is a field that does not change quickly. Education remains relatively stable even in the technological world, where everything changes at the speed of light. The use of technology in the educational process has not yet reached its peak, although students often use various online services. For example, they can pay for an essay to reduce their workload or keep an online calendar of assessment assignments and deadlines. Still, it is more of a personal experience than a general trend. 

I can say that technology has made life easier for many students, at least with the availability of electronic books and online access to many readers. The term “electronic textbook” is such a broad concept that it does not explain much without specification.

However, electronic textbooks mean electronic books (readers),structured and referenced texts, and documents of various types, ranging from supplementary files to web pages containing educational materials.

An electronic textbook is an educational product that differs from the traditional reader on a paper basis in that it can be viewed only by using a computer or electronic books and meets the requirements of the State Standard of Secondary Education and educational programs.

The electronic textbook should, firstly, disclose the subject of science, giving a description, explanation, prediction, and prediction of phenomena, facts, processes, and objects, and, secondly, disclose the essence of the subject of study, contains a methodological apparatus for the teacher and students.

Electronic textbooks are divided into three types:

1. A scanned handbook package
2. A traditional book with hypertext inserts
3. A specially designed electronic handbook

Regardless of its kind, the electronic textbook must use the principle of quantization. Educational material is divided into sections, which are also – on the module blocks with a text composition and visualization. Each module consists of a theoretical block, control questions on theory, quizzes and tests, contextual information, etc. Hypertext links link each module so the student can quickly move from one module to another. The electronic textbook should contain both graphic and illustrative material.

E-books uploaded to e-books, can be created and distributed in files of different formats, including plain text, decorated text (HTML),open format (FlipBook, OpenDocument , SGML, XML, FictionBook, TeX, PDF, HTMLHelp Microsoft, PostScript, ExeBook, Mobipocket, etc.), bitmap graphs and illustrations. ), raster graphics (TIFF, JPEG, DjVu), and multimedia books (SWF,EXE). Apart from text, OpenDocument, PostScript, PDF, and MS Word DOC files can contain bitmap or vector images. The files of modern e-book multimedia, apart from the text, contain several channels of perception: audio-musical, image-dynamic, and interactive-mental.

Some e-books are produced simultaneously with the preparation of the original textbook or made from existing books by scanning the text, sometimes using special open scanners that do not damage the reader. The most attractive format is the “open” textbook.

In the USA today, “open” textbooks are beginning to appear which can be adapted for their combined use. This has nothing to do with the principle of Wikipedia since no changes are made to the publically available material version because the information space extends to the editorial modified version of the textbook, and users can supplement only the example with which they work. There is practically no distinction between digital and paper content; the user’s digital content is close and sometimes identical to the digital product of the content creator. Consumers can remove unnecessary sections, add their material and readdress the text.

As before, fees for the sale of such electronic resources will go to the publisher, which owns the copyright on the edited text. The publisher not only provides content development services but also creates a platform for using the content, editing, and organizing the educational process.

Unedited or “rewritten” textbooks can be sent at a low cost in PDF format for downloading in black and white or in color. This is a good option for guidance services, school administrators, teachers, and students, but still for a fee to download the book.

To find out which features of electronic textbooks are most important for students, the Future Project surveyed nearly 300,000 students in the United States. The responses were divided as follows: the ability to staff books by adding comments and marking the text – 63%; self-assessment – 62%; ability to self-study – 46%; using NASA and Google information in real time – 52%; using if needed, an online tutor – 53%; Use of PowerPoint presentations from electronic textbooks – 55%; game elements in the teaching – 57%; using animation and modeling – 55%; availability of video – 51%; the ability to conduct videoconferences – 30%; podcasts – 34%; making your podcasts or videos – 48%.

The rapid development of information technologies actively influences the range of teaching aids and, accordingly, the transformation of outdated pedagogical technologies. The textbook as an important didactic device for the educational process is also commonly seen for its external features and the possibilities of translating information.

The textbook, in its traditional (friendly) appearance and functional purpose as a repository of scientific facts and educational potential, can no longer be a monopoly in the information society with its unlimited possibilities of generation, preservation, and transmission of information.

Nowadays, as some prominent Ukrainian philosophers of education say, the information surge “is primarily caused by market conditions and introduces substantial and far from unambiguous changes in the life of modern society, in the educational sphere, education, and training of the younger generation. So, a unique phenomenon was the appearance in the US at the beginning of the 70s of the last century in the market of electronic books as versions of books in electronic (digital) format.

The first electronic books (readers) were created for use only in specific areas and were designed for a limited audience. They contained technical instructions for operating complex equipment, complying with production technologies, etc. Later, starting in the 90s of the twentieth century, when the Internet significantly increased the transfer of electronic files, there was a rapid development and improvement of readers, particularly in PDF format. Due to the advancement of forms and the improvement of electronic books with open output code, the number of users began to grow, resulting in an even greater fragmentation of the market of electronic books.

In part, the development of this market to a specific time has been spontaneous because at that time were not at the legislative level has not been regulated copyright protection, standardization of packaging, and implementation of electronic books. The expansion of the readers’ market was uneven: On the one hand, many e-books were sold on the “black” market, while unofficial, and sometimes without the permission of the authors and publishers, catalogs of electronic books became available through the Internet, and other – sites dedicated to electronic books, contributed to the dissemination of information about electronic books for the general reading public; Author books, which the publishers rejected, put their works on the Internet and gained some popularity.

For example, American libraries in the late 1990s began to lend e-books for free through a website. While there were not many such libraries at first, in 2010, 66% of public libraries were open. In 2010, 66% of public libraries in the US offered e-books to their patrons.

Early in 2010, Apple launched the production of a large and functional device, the iPad, and signed contracts with five or six major publishers, which gave Apple the right to offer their books in electronic format. However, many publishers and authors were unhappy with the idea of electronic publications, explaining their reluctance to the problem of consumerism, piracy, and lack of material incentives.

In June 2010, online retailer reported that for the first time in the second quarter of 2010, e-book sales exceeded the volume of books in hard copy by 40% and in June – by 80%. In general, according to the American Publishing Association, the book reader segment in the middle of the year was 8.5% of total book sales in the United States.

Nevertheless, the debate on whether and how feasible to replace printed textbooks with electronic ones was not so much the technical characteristics and significant educational potential of electronic devices as the consequences of the global financial crisis. In the US, the share of spending on computerized textbooks in the education budget is insignificant. Out of a total of $550 billion allocated for education in the United States each year, nearly $5 billion (1%) was earmarked for textbook purchases. However, due to the lack of budget funds for textbooks, the US states of California and Texas administrations announced plans to discontinue the use of readers in favor of electronic books.

From a methodological point of view, electronic textbooks are a practical teaching resource for primarily learning the subjects of the natural and mathematical cycle and those branches of knowledge. The main objective of this manual is to provide a comprehensive structure for students’ self-study, distance and externship learning, practical and laboratory classes, and analysis of information and its graphical interpretation. At the same time, for example, information technology is developing so rapidly that educational materials’ developers can not keep up with this development. In this sense, electronic textbooks need to be combined with other interactive teaching technologies, such as webinars (webinars) – a kind of online lesson that allows teachers and students to communicate in text, audio, or video chat rooms.


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