I didn’t buy a single book in my entire Engineering. We used to receive the soft copies of notes on Whatsapp and emails during the mid-term examinations. The better option was to discard the books.
We merely bought those Easy solution books during the semesters which were more than enough to pass the subjects.
No, I am not saying to avoid buying books. However, my point is to replace traditional books with some electronic gadget.
1] Heavy Bags
First, the reference books make no sense when it comes to portability. Every chapter is remotely located in some corner of a book. For every topic, you need to refer to a separate book.
Carrying them is impractical and nobody carries them. These books make your bags unnecessarily heavier.
Instead, if a laptop or an iPad is provided then it would be far easy to shuffle between the chapters. No wonder, every soft copy has an option to directly search using the keywords. In fact, some schools are implementing this idea and I solely appreciate this.
2] Cloud storage
“Can you lend me the book for today?”
“No. Actually I forgot my book at home. I’ll bring it tomorrow”
These are so common scenarios when it comes to traditional classrooms. Moreover, in some cases, students forget their homework at home. Also, multiple books are pretty vulnerable.
Why not use one electronic device instead? Store all the e-books on the cloud instead of maintaining a dozen of books. It becomes easier for sharing and submitting the homework.
I have already mentioned the massive usage of cloud storage in one of my old posts. In case you missed it, here is the link:
If you are complaining about homework getting copied, then you need to check the reality at the ground level. That is what most of the students do
Contrarily, plagiarism software can easily catch the copied stuff when it comes to soft copies.
3] Easy Search and Dictionary
Doubts are meant to be solved instantaneously. It makes no sense when a student has to disturb the whole class just to clarify his own doubts. If someone lags in between, he can simply Google the basics.
An in-built dictionary is the biggest advantage for e-books. Just double click or hold a particularly difficult word and you are up with a synonym.
What sense does it make when a word’s meaning is unknown and the whole chapter gets over?
Also, if someone needs a quick glance at the introductory part of a topic, he must be free to explore more recent things related to the topic.
Every school can have software which can host tests, homework, assignments, etc.
Now you would ask me, why so much of insistence for a software?
Because that is how the professional office work or industry works. The colleges teach some paperwork which is out-graded while the offices demand the understanding of software skills.
What is the use if an obedient student knows to work flawlessly on paper but fails to deliver a project based on software. Will the industry forgive him/her?
When I am a self-taught digital marketer, I am continuously learning tools and software. Meanwhile, in the MBA classes, they merely teach theoretical subjects. I recently received a message on LinkedIn from an MBA graduate who was asking for some tips related to digital marketing. True story, same story.
5] Updated Information
This is the most important factor that I feel why hard copy books have to be discarded. When I was in Engineering, it was no fun in reading about 3G when the market is talking about 5G in telecommunications.
Ask any student and the complain will be same. We are asked to read the same syllabus which our seniors used to study 10-15 years ago.
Students are needed to be industry ready. Also, it is a factor that hard copies cannot be replaced so frequently. Here, the better option is to keep soft copies and update them periodically.
Many people love the smell of books and prefer hard copies. No offense to them, I am one of them as well.
Also, some might claim that an iPad or a laptop will be costly when it comes to students. I have solution for them. You don’t even need to buy a full fledged laptop or tablet. A Chromebook is a trend in western countries for students. They are cheap. I have written about it in detail here:
However, the growing technology and the mentioned reasons are totally justified for the change. It is the need of time for the schools to discard books and come up with some gadgets.