Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Blogger Wonders What's the Rush to E-Text?

It's probably shouldn't be a surprise that students aren’t flocking to electronic textbooks. After all, most have been handed print textbooks at the beginning of every school year for most of their academic lives. Besides, they are consumers who tend to look for low price first, and e-textbooks don’t always offer much savings.

Now, Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, weighs in on the subject on his blog. He observes that while popular e-books are written in a narrative style and are read for pleasure, textbooks deal with difficult material that is being read to learn and remember.

Willingham points to research which shows that while all the videos and hyperlinks that e-texts are able to provide can certainly be an advantage to students, they can also be a distractions that actually limit understanding.

He’s not trying to suggest there’s no reason to replace the printed format. He’s just asking what the rush is.


Nate said...

I think I figured out the reason for the rush:


Dan Angelo said...

Thanks Nate, some very good thoughts to ponder.