With the growing visibility of digital media in the classroom, there seems to be no stopping the increasing number of electronic textbooks available to students today. With this new age of digital course materials there is a myriad of pedagogical possibilities. With them comes a refreshing and dynamic approach to addressing learning and teaching.
Those leading the way, however, are not content to stop there. With business and commerce applying digital technologies to cut costs and improve networking, customer relations and levels of output, it’s hardly surprising the world of education has been quick to catch on.
Where it was once enough to have key set texts accessed through an online intranet system on the school’s computer, now textbooks can be accessed with any number of electronic-media devices, including the iPad with its iBooks textbooks. Able to read anytime and anywhere, students have a wider choice of where and when to study and with this comes a greater level of independent study. This changes the role the education system has to play within the development of a student’s skill base.
Similarly, educational institutions are benefiting from such new technology. Providing students with laptops or iPads means long-term savings can be made using online resources (both locally stored data and cloud-storage solutions). No longer do schools, colleges or universities have to spend large amounts of money on new versions of textbooks or replacement copies of exiting ones.
In universities, undergraduate and postgraduate courses are also seeing the benefits, with many medical, business and art schools all given access to a wide range of free or discounted digital resources. With highly developed search tools, the latest publications can be located and read within minutes, while individual texts can be examined in new and diverse ways, from simple word searches to language translations.
Of course, use of digital media opens up even more possibilities. Touchscreens mean data can form part of a more complete interactive experience. The once-passive nature of learning and research, where activity was limited to field research or lab work, has become an active one. Students are able to undertake an in-depth and analytical approach to what they see, hear and read in class.
Many textbook publishers are now developing their service to provide animations, slides and videos that give a more holistic view of a particular subject. From genetics, psychology and medicine to photography, design and music, the digital textbook can now provide a complete sensory experience. With it come new ways to help students, especially those with disabilities, to learn.
A Complete Research and Development Toolkit
With the introduction of iPads and electronic textbooks in classrooms, there is a drive towards maintaining an up-to-date range of resources for the student. However, their relevance and success is likely to depend on the wireless infrastructure they use. The reliability of such a system will, of course, affect the way in which students can use digital media. Educational institutions will need to look carefully at how they pay for and deliver their online service.
However, a good intranet system really does contain within it endless possibilities, especially given the fast and seemingly unstoppable development of digital technology and software. It may not be such a huge step to see digital educational resources mimicking the computer-games market, with greater character interaction, movement tracking and instant player feedback
About the Author:
Donna B. is a Freelance and Staff writer who writes informative & creative articles on SEO and Technology for various search engine optimisation company. Her expertise are in writing articles related to internet plans, SEO, Social media etc.