E-books are electronic books. Readers can read e-books directly from the books' sites or they can
download the texts and read from any word processing program. E-books
are available in many formats. For example, they can be downloaded onto both personal desktop computers
and/or palm pilots. E-books include both original, unpublished works as well as public domain and recently published texts.
Some e-books are free, and some require a user registration and/or subscription fee.
What are the possibilities for e-books in education?
I see a high potential for e-books in the field of education. First, school budgets are tight. Yet,
most schools have computer labs, so free e-books could definitely benefit the teacher who does not have
the financial resources to buy several copies of a certain text. Likewise, student budgets are fixed. For students who do research requiring references from various texts, e-books could be huge
money-savers. Second, e-books are never out of stock or already checked out. Students and teachers do not
have to worry about waiting for a copy of a text; e-books are available in unlimited quantities. Third,
e-books can accommodate the various learning needs of students. For example, students with poor vision can adjust
the text to a bigger font; students who dislike black and white pages can change the colors of the texts
or backgrounds. By using e-books, students can change the text so it is conducive to their learning
preferences. Furthermore, some e-book sites, such as Questia, offer additional e-book services. Students
can highlight text (they could not do this with library books or class-issued texts) while reading online.
Likewise, with downloaded e-books, students can highlight and make notes in the texts. With free e-books,
there are no late fees and no charges for printing pages. Finally, teachers should never hear the excuse
the library was closed; Internet e-book libraries are open 24 hours a day and 7 days per week.
Where do I find e-books?
Click here to find a list of e-book sites on the Internet.