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Digital Textbooks are the Best Things since PDAs

Aug 22 2014, 4:18am CDT | by , in Reviews | Technology News

Digital Textbooks are the Best Things since PDAs
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The devices known as digital textbooks are the best things since PDAs (personal digital assistants). They are the supplement to teachers and teaching.

We are all weary of dusty old tomes that we have to study by lamplight. Well, that is all in the past now with the arrival of digital textbooks on the scene. 

These novel gadgets learn from you along with teaching in an exhilarating manner that is both fun and informative. They have literally exploded the myth that those boring textbooks have always been. 

Now for the first time learning and problem solving has become an interactive process. The exploration of education is what this venture is all about and that is a laudable aim. 

"We want to be able to create the perfect book for every person," says Richard Baraniuk, director of the OpenStax project at Houston's Rice University, which is behind the books. "Ultimately, we want a system that turns reading the book into an exploration of knowledge."

A number of online textbooks are displayed for perusal on the gizmos. The textbooks will furthermore adapt to the students by offering them helpful notes and quizzes that will sharpen their wits. 

The learning methodologies that will be used as standard practice on these e-textbooks will make memorizing the curriculum a much easier and fun-filled proposal. 

And while these digital textbooks are not exactly a new phenomenon, they were not so commonly used before. But now, the way has been made clear for these contraptions of the future. 

Slow learners can get individualized lesson plans and therefore catch up with their clever cousins in the scheme that is education. It is pupil-centered learning that will be the focus in case of digital textbooks. 

The students may proceed at their own comfort level and cover material in a set pattern that is piecemeal and easily assimilative. Already, many institutions of higher learning have decided to implement these devices among their repertoire. 

Salt Lake Community College is one of them. Since it is impossible for a single teacher to pay attention to each and every student among those who attend the classes, these digital textbook will mechanically and electronically bridge the gap. 

So while the teachers will be freed to give it their all in terms of inspiration, these devices can cover matters having to do with the hard work and perspiration part. 

"Universities are just not suited for developing and serving such large-scale products. We need start-ups for that," says Peter Brusilovsky of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, one of the designers of the interactive learning system ELM-ART (Episodic Learner Model – The Adaptive Remote Tutor). "If done right, adaptive textbooks could help us to learn faster and better."   


You can find a good variety of digital textbooks at following online marketplaces:

Source: NewScientist

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