E-Textbooks as a Classroom Tool

E-Textbooks as a Classroom Tool

Jackie HeeYoung Kim
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch222
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Digital technology has greatly influenced every aspect of the digital generation’s lives: how they play, how they socialize, how they communicate, and how they learn. As technology is integrated seamlessly into the personal and social aspects of students’ lives, technology further changes their academic environment. This technology force often influences educators to deliver content and assess students’ performance. This article will address a recent, innovative force, e-Textbooks, which should hold a prominent place in the field of education because this technology initiative can change the classroom landscape of how we teach and learn. Although the importance of e-Textbooks in the classroom has increased, limited literature on this technology tool calls for the more discussion—especially in relation to its pedagogical meanings. Hence, the main purpose of this article is to define e-Textbooks, to provide pedagogical meanings of e-Textbooks in the classroom, and to discuss how e-Textbooks address many of the contemporary issues in education, such as differentiated instruction, self-directed learning, and evidence-based (data-driven) teaching. In addition, because the impact of e-Textbooks is varied, this article will discuss the antecedents where e-Textbooks influenced students’ learning outcome significantly in educational contexts. In other words, this article will discuss whether the research found significant learning outcomes in using e-Textbooks.

The Definition of E-Textbook

The key definition of e-Book varies due to its nature and extent. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (2010) defines an e-Book as “a book that is displayed on a computer screen or on an electronic device that is held in the hand, instead of being printed on paper. It is in multiple electronic formats.” Vassiliou and Rowley (2008) claims most early definitions of e-Books are obsolete due to too much reliance on specific readers or their access to rapidly developing cutting-edge technologies. She defines e-Books in two parts. The first part of her definition summarizes the essential and stable nature of e-Books referring to digital object with textual and/or other contents. It is the result of integrating the common concept of a book with features that can be provided in an electronic environment. The second part refers to in-use features such as search, cross-reference functions, reference materials, monographs, hypertext links, bookmarks, interactive dictionaries, highlights, multimedia objects and note taking. These features will become less significant due to the vast advancement in technology. Thus, an ongoing revision of the e-Book definition is required. The definition of e-Textbook adds the educational intention into the definition of e-Book. Accordingly, e-Textbook is defined as an educational or instructional book in digital form. As more students use their laptops and smart phones on a daily basis, e-Textbooks are increasingly taking the place of printed books (PCMac, 2013).


Background: Pedagogical Meanings Of E-Textbooks In The Classroom

It is critical to discuss how educational theories support the use of e-Textbooks because the review of these theories will provide the particular answers to how, what, and under what conditions learning can be maximized in the use of e-Textbooks. While the topic is too large and complex to be thoroughly examined in this article, we can highlight those theories that are particularly relevant to specific features of digital textbooks such as hypertext, multimedia, interactivity, learning analytics because these features unswervingly give e-Textbooks pedagogical meanings in the classroom. It is important to notice that the pedagogical meaning of e-Textbook will evolve as newly developed technology tools are embedded in e-Textbooks.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hypermedia: A logical extension of the term hypertext in which graphics, audio, video, plain text and hyperlinks intertwine to create a generally non-linear medium of information.

Differentiated Instruction: A framework or philosophy for effective teaching that involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teaching materials and assessment measures so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability.

E-Textbook: An educational or instructional book in digital form.

Multimedia: A combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, or interactivity content forms. This contrasts with media that use only rudimentary computer displays such as text-only or traditional forms of printed or hand-produced material.

Self-Directed Learning: A process by which individuals take the initiative, with or without the assistance of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.

Self-Regulated Learning: Learning that is guided by meta-cognition (thinking about one's thinking), strategic action (planning, monitoring, and evaluating personal progress against a standard), and motivation to learn .

E-Book: A book that is displayed on a cowmputer screen or an electronic device that is held in the hand instead of being printed on paper. (The Oxford Advanced Learner's dictionary, 2011).

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