If we rewind 20 years, educational innovators predicted future students would no longer be seen staggering around campus lugging giant backpacks filled with outdated, heavy textbooks. Instead, they’d be carrying around a single device loaded with easily updated, always current and wonderfully inexpensive digital books.
They were right! Digital books are replacing those old, clunky tree-killing paperbacks at a rapid rate. With the rising popularity of online textbooks, many universities and accredited degree programs are going completely digital, like Open University (UK) and Udacity (US). And practically every university (even the Ivy League) offers digital courses—from Harvard to Princeton and Yale.
While many students may still prefer physical textbooks, eBooks do have some distinct advantages. In this article, we’ll explore six reasons why digital textbooks provide great benefits for today’s students. The first reason might just blow your mind!
#1 Digital Textbooks Save Students LOTS of Money
According to the American Enterprise Institute, college textbook prices are 812 percent higher than they were a little more than three decades ago. This means the average college student spends roughly $1,168 on textbooks each year, with a single textbook easily costing as much as $300 (FYI, that’s 7794,01DKK)! And the biggest problem is: students have to fork out that money at the beginning of each semester, practically depleting their life savings!
But what if you could get your books on a monthly subscription and cancel whenever you wanted? Let’s calculate how much money you would save if your semester textbooks were available in one desktop study app for say, $29.82 (or 199 DKK) per month:
$29.82 (199 DKK) x 12 (months) = $357.84 (2387,85 DKK)
This is a savings of 69%! Imagine all that extra money? Roskilde Festival—check! Summer holiday—check! Those tempting pub crawls—check! Apps like Lix provide textbooks and study tools on a monthly subscription at an affordable price—199 DKK in fact.
#2 Digital Textbooks are Instantly Available
We live in a world where we want things, and we want them NOW—instantly! With digital textbooks, you won’t even have to leave your dorm room to buy that big, bulky Microeconomics textbook for your 1st-semester course. Instead, you can head on over to an online study platform and instantly download your semester books to your computer. It’s instant. It’s easy. It’s all there.
#3 Digital Textbooks Lighten Your Load
Who wants to lug around a bunch of heavy textbooks? I don’t know about you, but I care about my posture. And let’s face it—most textbooks are hardbound and heavy. It’s much easier to stay upright and keep your posture in check with a lighter load. And with study apps, all your textbooks are kept in one place so you can seamlessly switch between your course reading material, take notes right in your digital books and find things quickly with features like Advanced Search.
#4 Digital Textbooks Have Built-in Dictionaries
Ever come across a term in your textbook you don’t know? It’s pretty frustrating when you have to interrupt your studies to hunt down a definition. Or maybe you can’t be bothered to grab your phone or search for that physical dictionary, so you just skip over the word—never really comprehending its meaning. In the Lix app, you’ll find a built-in dictionary that allows you to look up words you don’t understand. The dictionary definition will appear right on the screen without you even needing to leave the app.
#5 Digital Textbooks Save Trees (and Water)
Is a digital textbook less harmful on the environment than a printed book? While it may be hard to believe, the answer is yes! Why? It takes fewer resources to produce a digital book than it does to create physical versions, especially when it comes to water. According to the nonprofit organization Green Press Initiative, the newspaper and book publishing industries consume 153 billion gallons of water annually. To produce just one printed book, it takes about seven gallons of water. However, one digital book can be produced with less than two cups of water. And while paper can be recycled, the recycling process itself causes excess environmental pollution due to all that extra sludge produced during the textbook de-inking process. Gross!
#6 Digital Textbooks Can Be Read Anywhere
Late-night reader? Read digital textbooks under any circumstance (as long as you have power and it’s not raining). Whether it’s dark, you’re in bed or on your balcony after sunset, you’ll never need additional light to read your digital books. While these are all great reasons, there is one major pitfall. The ability to read under any circumstance doesn’t allow for many excuses—like not staying up-to-speed with your mandatory reading list. Try explaining that to your professor!
Textbook alternatives are part of the growing “open educational resources” movement. Lix is a part of this movement—placing the power structure in higher education in the hands of the students. Lix enables students to own their education and take control of their student life. Let’s work together to make this happen. Join the Lix movement—a global student rebellion dedicated to transforming the way students learn worldwide, now and for years to come!