This article was very interesting to read to say the least. I have never purchased an E-Textbook, personally, except the online book that comes with the purchase of U of L’s Spanish courses. I never use the online textbook due to the fact I have the hardbound book that comes with it. I would rather use the printed version because I can write in the book and do the activities directly in the book. This has been an essential study tool for me when I am preparing for a test. I believe this technique also helps me in my math courses as well at UofL.
An enabling factor is one that makes an application possible. In correlation with E-Textbooks, an enabling factor would be an iPad, Laptop, or a desktop computer. Basically, an enabling factor would be any electrical device that enables one to access an E-Textbook. Another enabling factor would be online shopping/Internet, in which a person is able to purchase these books through their devices. All of these enabling factors make purchasing, reading, and learning from an E-Textbook simple and convenient for the users.
A limiting factor is the opposite of an enabling factor. Therefore, a limiting factor is one that hinders being able to make an application possible. A limiting factor to take into consideration, in regards to E-Textbooks, is the battery life of electronic devices. What if a student leaves their charger at home and their electronic device dies in the middle of the day? They are out of luck in reading that textbook until they can juice up. We do not know how to create a device that has ample amount of battery life… The fact that there is only a certain amount of space on a electronic device limits the number of books one can purchase. One might have to delete a book they have already purchased in order to make room for a new purchase. However, when buying printed versions of textbooks one does not have to worrying about the limiting factor of space.
Next, a motivating factor is one that provides a reason for the adoption of a technology. A reason to take advantage of the E-Textbooks would obviously be the weight benefit. College textbooks can be very lengthy which results in a very heavy backpack. Purchasing all your textbooks online will eliminate that disadvantage of a printed book. A student can carry all of their textbooks around on one electronic device.
Lastly, an inhibiting factor is the opposite of a motivating factor. It is a disincentive for adoption or use of a communication technology. The obvious inhibiting factors are the amount of money one makes. If someone cannot afford their own personal iPad, laptop, computer, or technical device, then purchasing an E-Textbook will not be in their ball park. Technology is pricy and not the cheapest route to printed versions, like the article mentioned. People have commented and said most of the time the online versions of the textbooks are only around $10 cheaper than the printed version. People also mentioned another huge inhibiting factor to most students is that you cannot sell back an online textbook. However, you can return a printed version of the textbook… you may not receive a ton of money back, but hey college students love getting some extra cash at the end of the semester. Another example of an inhibiting factor, in relation to E-Textbooks, would be why buy an online textbook that you cannot resell when you are going to have to buy another textbook with updated information in a few months? Also is it worth getting the E-Textbook if it does not help you learn more efficiently? Then why should it be a requirement at some universities? Since E-Textbooks are a newly founded technology, in the past few years, I do not feel it is right to push them on students. This online style of learning might not benefit the learning styles of some students. Too many risky questions if you ask me when deciding to purchase an E-Textbook. The pro’s and con’s should be weighted more and the decision to buy the E-Textbook should be up to the student. The main concern should be if the student is actually studying or reading the textbook anyway, whether it be a printed or online version of the books.
An interesting point I want to hit on is some research done by Nicholas Carr in his book “The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains?”. He duly notes that since the invention of the computer and Internet, our brains are adapting to how the computer and Internet functions. Instead of reading a full article or book, we tend to skim and highlight the main points. I wonder what the effects are from reading/learning all material from the computer would be on people? Also how will the next generation be different than the one presently by possibly reading their first books online and never opening a printed version of a book? Something to think about…