Florida college rethinks digital textbook strategy

Daytona State College, a community college in Florida, will rethink its approach to providing students with digital textbooks, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Rand Spiwak, the college's chief financial officer, had been a vocal supporter of the school's transition to digital course materials. However, officials at the college have rethought their policies concerning the widespread use of digital textbooks in light of Spiwak's resignation earlier this year.

Daytona State was also part of a year-long pilot program intended to measure the effectiveness of a mandatory transition to digital course materials, and the results of the study suggest that further research into appropriate tablet computers is necessary before any firm decisions can be made. Despite the increasing popularity of digital textbooks and tablet computers, some students were reluctant to embrace the technology during the pilot program.

"Students indicated they wanted more interactive components in the e-text,"  reads the report. Although they complained that reading from a computer screen was fatiguing, they also noted the desirability of having the e-text accessible on a web-enabled cell phone. The majority of students simply found the e-text inconvenient and time-consuming compared with a printed textbook."

For some students at the college, it seems that they are not quite ready to add tablet computers to their "what to bring to college" checklists.

Do you use digital textbooks at your school? What do you think of them?

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