Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blogger Weighs in on E-Book 'Rush'

The CITE featured a blog from University of Virginia professor Daniel Willingham who wondered what the rush is to adopt digital course materials (scroll down to May 8). His point was that course materials are more difficult to read than books for pleasure. Besides, digital he added textbooks aren’t much cheaper than print editions in the first place.

That post brought a reply that led to a different and perhaps more cynical conclusion on the reasons behind the push for digital. This blogger questions why both the federal and state governments are pushing digital materials so hard and finds the answer in big business. He says he wants to believe that all the legislation is about making things better for students, but is concerned it’s just about money for publishers.

“The thing is, if my conclusion about how digital textbooks got so hot so fast (is right), then it raises serious doubts as to whether they really have so many virtues,” writes Nate Hoffelder. “What if all the supposed advantages of digital textbooks are really the invention of a sophisticated marketing department and not the observations of enthusiastic adopters?”

Clearly, these are very different points of view. So what’s your thoughts?

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