Pros and Cons of Digital Textbooks Technology

Pros and Cons of Digital Textbooks Technology

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8300-6.ch011
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Students do not necessarily enjoy using textbooks. One of the main reasons is that multimodal texts are harder to process by brain patterns. Digital textbooks technology aims to reduce this pitfall, offering multimedia feedback and interactivity as the main features of the powerful learning environment. There are two ways: a) using and developing the digital textbook as a pedagogical resource and b) using and developing digital textbook as a learning tool. The first way offers speed of finding, purchasing, downloading, as well as digital reading. The second way adds the power of assembling digital content through representation in a person's own manner as well as group development of content. Educational outcomes in a digital textbook learning environment are better than in scholastic models. This chapter presents pros and cons of the digital textbook technology in concept of postmodernism philosophy. The role of the digital textbook technology for learning is proved.
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Mobile information technology is changing the education landscape by offering learners the opportunity to engage in asynchronous, ubiquitous instruction (Hyman, Moser & Segala, 2014, p.1). While education requires learner-centered learning environment, humans brains have the ability to recognize patterns and metappaterns and, then, transform them into concrete, actionable steps for actions or activities. Previous research was shown (Basulto, 2013) that learning results from massive, hierarchical and recursive processes. Reading is recognizing the patterns of individual letters, then the patterns of individual words, then groups of words together, then paragraphs, then entire chapters and books.

The multimodal texts are harder to be processed by brain patters. The cause is that multimodal texts involve new forms of labour and types of patterns (Kabuto, 2014; Simon, Acosta, & Houtman, 2014; Malinowski, 2014). The digital textbook content, as a metappaterns, is used and developed as a pedagogical resource and/or as a learning tool. Its functionality is a guaranteed hardware, software and educational technologies. The sustainability of technologies is in usability, networking and interoperability (Cheng, Chou, Wang & Lin, 2014; Wiklund-Hornqvist, Jonsson & Nyberg, 2014; Reid, 2014 etc.). Moreover, digital textbooks are available more than ever. In addition, they influence the academic achievement (Lang et al., 2014; Moser & Segala (2014) etc.). Studies in digital textbooks area are focused on solving digital learning issues (Song, Kim, Byun, Song, & Lee, 2014; Kim & Park, 2014; Hyman, Moser & Segala; 2014; Marshall, Kinuthia & Richards, 2013 etc.).

Why is it important to research the integrity of hardware, software and educational technologies in using and development of digital textbooks? In order to solve this problem we state: Only a small part of the scientific and social knowledge is “transformed” into didactic material. The other part involuntary comes from real environment and processed unconsciously. People learn better when investigate, than read the printed text. Knowledge is a result of investigated phenomena, objects and processes, which serve as “learning objects”. During life, pupils use different tools of investigation (according to theirs intellect, emotions and energetics. However, these tools are more and more sophisticated.

New digital textbook technologies impact learning because Digital Age is for Knowledge Society. Learning requires learning platforms and digital devices in order to understand how to read real-virtual signs and how to de-codify the speech and visual information from hypertext and multimodal text. In real life people solve parallel, non-linear and integrated cognitive activities, using digital to investigate world and to assemble “meaning” for non-standard solutions, visions, culture, and strategies. Pedagogics aims to develop new methods as tools for personal development in sustainable, secured and durable habitat. However, the primarily product tool and resource is humans’ capital. This means that quality of life depends mainly on the capacity to learn and to communicate verbally and non-vernally in real-virtual learning environments. During all life we are teacher or/and students.

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