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.