Digital textbooks for the modern classroom.

Background and Problem - Instructional need for eBook and App Textbook

eBook textbooks have been around for well over 10 years. Digital Tablets and eReaders, such as Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Nobles’ Nook, provide students and educators with access to more diverse textbook options. Cheaper costs, portability and instant access to textbooks make eBooks more appealing for a wider audience.

eBook textbooks provide a non-linear highly customizable working platform for learners. The modern learner can bookmark content for easy retrieval, learn about new vocabulary, take notes that are easily searchable and even connect with other learners to discuss the lesson learned. eBooks also provide learners with more multimedia learning options that spans from narration to animation.

Apps are self-contained applications that provide the user with a multimedia experience. Apps are mainly designed around games, animation and information collection. Some Apps, such as Inkling, are specifically designed for the distribution and management of digital textbooks. Although Inkling provides a unique user experience, the limitations of only reaching the iPad audience leaves users like Android and Windows Tablet users at a disadvantage. The current gap in digital learning is becoming wider and wider. Textbook publishers are unsure as to which direction to aim with the development and distribution of instructional material. The distinction between eBooks and Apps is not always too clear. Some apps are presented and sold as eBooks and some are enhanced to look like Apps.

Illustration by: Jorge Santiago

Illustration by: Jorge Santiago