Today's university libraries might be filled with rows of books, but the library of the future will carry more of a digital load and not so much paper weight. A recent survey of 500 college students offers some insight into this trend.
The study, by digital textbook publisher CourseSmart, found that 98 percent of students own a digital device, and 73 percent say they could not study without using some form of technology — yet another a sign that technology now plays a significant role in higher education, as students are not only comfortable with their notebooks, but with the use of e-textbooks as well.
The benefits of digital textbooks are numerous. For starters, e-textbooks are "greener" and more easily updated, unlike their paper counterparts. Respondents outlined other key reasons for using e-textbooks:
- 52 percent like e-textbooks for their search features.
- 48 percent choose e-textbooks for the lower price.
- 25 percent like the instant access.
- 20 percent like the highlighting features.
- 19 percent cite portability.
- 6 percent prefer reading in a digital format.
Students even claim they save time during the semester by using e-textbooks:
- 23 percent save two hours.
- 11 percent save three hours.
- 17 percent save more than three hours.
Will the trend of e-textbooks continue to rise? 54 percent of students report they may buy an e-textbook next semester, while 38 percent say all their books will be digital — which leaves us asking, what will education look like in years to come?
View the survey results in full via eCampus.com