View Poll Results: Should HK make the switch to digital textbooks?

Voters
6. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes - that would be nice

    2 33.33%
  • No - the time is not ripe

    2 33.33%
  • Hybrid - 50/50 compromise of sorts

    2 33.33%
  • uncertain/indifferent

    0 0%

To E-textbook or not to E-textbook?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    129

    To E-textbook or not to E-textbook?


    E-textbooks, eh?

    Either you're thinking 'It's about darn time!' or, you're thinking 'what is the world coming to?'

    Sure, some other countries are all about the switch to digital textbooks, but is that the best option for Hong Kong's education system?

    From everything we've gathered about e-textbooks, we can't find many reasons not to switch, and the vast majority of students in Hong Kong are probably 'connected' 24/7 anyhow.

    We're well past the dawn of the digital age. Why not start training HK students to exploit the internet for its educational promise sooner rather than later? (if the education protests were any indicator, HK students are already utilizing the digital age in their free time, anyway)

    What are the potential side effects of such a switch?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    25

    depends on the reason for using ebooks.

    To save money on textbooks is not a reason to use ebooks.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    1

    Cool Curling up with a good Kindle !

    There are many valid reasons for using eBooks…..aside from the most obvious…..that is their space saving capacity.....the main thing going for them is…..a student has the ability to access a vast array of data and information easily…….this saves time and allows you to focus on what you are studying……having said this…..there is still a place for physical books especially when it comes to novels and literature…. the tactile sense of holding a book as you become absorbed in the plot is comforting and adds to the emotional experience….. I personally dont get the same perceptions when reading from a digital device…..curling up with a Kindle or an iPad just doesnt do it for me......however this is not something you necessarily need when it comes to text books or study material where all you need is the information it contains in order to help your understanding of a subject.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3

    E-books and e-redaers are all good for novels and comics, but more than one article I've read suggest they aren't as effective when used for studying.

    Ereaders are a handy way to carry a library around with you at all times, but in an article in Time Magazine a few researchers suggest that ebooks might not hold the spatial cues that help you remember the text you read.

    The reasoning is that a physical book provides location context to what you read. You have a two-page spread, a graphic, or a visual difference between the pages. All these factors help you remember the text more easily. When you try to recall that information later, it's easier when you have a physical reference point to compare the memory to... The studies mentioned in the article are small and the research is still in its infancy, but several researchers suggest that a physical book may be best when you really need to remember the contents.
    Read a Physical Book When You Really Need to Remember Something

    Educational institutions have a responsibility to stay current, and e-readers have the potential to save space, time and money, but the book and the library have a place in schools that should not be underrated.

    Children should know how to use an index and a glossary. They should know how to find a book in the library. These skills should not be left to gather dust because of a popular trend.

    If nothing else, students should be given an option, and more studies should be done on how children with e-readers fare academically against children who use books.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by Vrindavan
    depends on the reason for using ebooks.

    To save money on textbooks is not a reason to use ebooks.
    If schools and students aren't rolling around in cash, saving money seems like a perfectly reasonable reason to switch to e-books.

    Saving money is the reason behind a lot of significant changes from the individual level, to the corporate level of business, to the national and international levels of government. Saving money must be important (sometimes).

    So I'm curious what you mean here.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    South District
    Posts
    39

    I am totally against the idea of a e-textbook..e-anything really! Yes, our kids need to know how to use these gadgets, but there are plenty of chances outside of school to practice, they don't need additional time on it...how harmful is it for their eyes, for their social development (when you go to the library and ask the librarian), for kids to develop an understanding of how to use the index page to search through a book rather than just type it in,,,there are many skills that would not be developed.

    A friend if mines daughter was studying for her bio exam with her laptop and to the shock of my friend, she said her daughter was cutting and pasting different parts of the anatomy from her e-textbook...practicing her fine motor skills, reinforcing her skills in copy and pasting...is that what we as parents have to look forward to these days? seems kind of scary to me....


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    129
    A steering committee on the selection, quality assurance and review of the e-Textbook Market Development Scheme has approved 30 applications for e-textbooks' development.

    Secretary for Education Eddie Ng said $26 million has been allocated for the scheme and he expected e-textbooks to be available in the 2014-15 school year.

    Applications cover the main subjects of Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics, General Studies, Computer Literacy, Putonghua, Geography, Life & Society and Physical Education, he said. Twenty-one applications are for primary education and nine for junior secondary.

    The applications came from 13 applicants, including non-profit making organisations, textbook-publishing-related organisations, e-learning resources developers and tertiary institutions.

    The e-textbooks are generally priced about 20% lower than printed textbooks, he said, adding the price of the approved Geography e-textbook is as much as 63% lower than the average price of its printed counterpart.

    The bureau has also launched a Partner Schools Scheme to invite 88 primary and secondary schools to try the e-textbooks and provide feedback, so that developers can enhance their design and contents.

    The bureau will conduct an interim review and the committee will determine whether or not a second phase of the scheme is required.

    news.gov.hk - Categories - At School, At Work - 30 e-textbook applications win nod
    The Gov has voted 'Yes - that would be nice'