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Future course

Like everything that is going electronic, the prefix alt39 ealt39 is being added to textbooks too.

BINITA MEHTA checks why e- textbooks will slowly get popular


About two decades back, not many l

aymen could have predicted the importance that technology would have gained in the education world. Yes, there were researchers working on it, but not many knew that owing to technology, the entire topography of education would change.

The mere concept of computers used to seem alien to the common households and most used to think that computers can be handled only by experts. With advancement in technology, students have gained wide exposure. Now, nothing seems impossible online. Due to the popularity of this electronic gadget, the education sector in India is also toying with the idea of e- textbooks, and in some cases, they have been introduced as well.

” E- books have been around in the market for sometime now, but as usual, the education sector took its own time in reaping the benefits,” says technology expert Varun Gupta.

According to Gupta, although the computer supports some form of ereaders ( the most common being the Adobe Acrobat pdf Reader) the phenomenon can gather mass only once e- book readers like the Amazon Kindle become popular in India.

As far as educationists throughout the world are concerned, the verdict is torn.

E- textbooks will bring about a major revolution in the form of a learning tool, but there are positives and negatives. The positives are related to learning, but the major negative is the cost, according to most. Of course, in future, the benefits will prevail. So what exactly are these benefits? ” E- books are delivered almost instantaneously. You can purchase, download and start reading them within minutes. There is no hassle of going to a bookstore to buy them, or even wait for days while the copy becomes available at your local bookstore,” says Gupta.

Environmentalists will be extremely happy, since electronic material saves trees, since less paper is used. But more importantly, the information that you need is available almost instantly, search options are easier, so students are saved the time they spend pouring over pages for one small fact they are looking for.

” One of the most important advantages of e text books will be that students will be relieved for lugging around super heavy backpacks to college,” says advocate and solicitor Mihir Bharat, who remembers his law school days with disgust. ” Additionally, you donalt39t need any space to store them.

You donalt39t need a cupboard or shelf! Imagine that kind of space saving in a city like Mumbai with sky- rocketing real estate prices,” Bharat adds.

With the books technically becoming alt39 lighteralt39 portability and sharing becomes much easier. You can literally carry them anywhere, without worrying about your drooping shoulders! ” That apart, no dog ears, no wear and tear, and no paper insects like silver fish!” adds avid reader Swapna Sawhney, who uses an Amazon Kindle for academic purposes. ” I did make an initial investment of alt39alt39alt39alt395,000 but I do not regret it!” One of the main advantages is that fonts in e- books can be resized, making it easier to read for people with disabilities.