Tulsa College Students Looking At e-Textbooks Verses Standard Textbooks

Wednesday, September 8th 2010, 9:37 am
By: News On 6

By Jamie McGriff, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- A recent report in the Wall Street Journal says a company called "Inkling" is introducing 4 full-length interactive college textbooks by McGraw-Hill and will make them available thru iTunes.

These books are specifically designed for Apple's iPad.

It just comes to show you how far we've come with technology and education.

While e-books have been around for a little while now, the question then becomes, will the standard college text books disappear?

Are e-books worth the cost?

These days it could easily cost up to a thousand dollars for books. And this is just for undergrad.

So students are looking for options, and ways to save money.

Some ways are renting or buying used books. But students are looking at resources such as e-books to help them too.

For starters you don't have to haul a bunch of books around from class to class. And you can find information more quickly.

Aaron Robbins is a bookstore clerk at OU-Tulsa and says 80 percent of the students coming to buy books want e-books. It makes up about 25 percent of the bookstore's sales.

"There are a lot of books that we've got coming in that have CD's included in the book so I think a lot of companies are trying to push that," said Aaron Robbins.

Supporters say it's a lot easier for students who don't want to haul a bunch of heavy books to and from class.

Still there are students who prefer a text book, either new or used.

A spokesperson for Follett Corporation, which is a provider of e-books to college and university campuses - says e-textbooks in higher education today represent less than 5% of all college store textbook sales, but could reach 10 to 15 percent by 2012, according to the National Association of College Stores.

Aaron Robbins thinks the rise of the digital age doesn't mean books will disappear for good yet.

"I could see it being a lot more that way but there's still people who read the newspaper, some people like to have the physical thing right in front of them and flip through the pages. I don't think that will go away but I think that it will go a lot more towards the e-books in the future," said Aaron Robbins.

He says he has noticed a lot of nursing students taking advantage of e-books. A first year nursing student can have as many as 16 books. Thirteen of those books are available electronically.

The cost is pretty much the same but there's less hassle.