Zoe Zheng / Edge columnist
At a time when 50 percent of Gleneagle’s students have one-to-one devices, and many senior students have smart phones and tablets, it is time that e-books should replace paper books for students.
At Gleneagle many courses have both electronic textbooks and paper textbooks. In addition to a physical library, Gleneagle also provides an online school library.
A 2014 study published in the journal Library & Information Science Research found that out of 143 grade 10 students, most preferred e-books.
E-books have obviously become an important part of students’ lives, and the benefits they bring are numerous.
“I think e-books are better because when students are used to using electronic devices, it is mentally and physically easier for them to read e-books than paper books,” said Daisy Lin, grade 11.
It is very inconvenient to carry all thick and heavy paper books, especially for students who have a paper textbook for each class. But for e-books, as long as students bring their electronic devices, they are able to read all the books.
Font flexibility is a huge advantage of e-books. This not only makes the common readers feel more comfortable to read, but also helps the visually impaired. Students with poor eyesight or reading disorders like dyslexia can benefit more from e-books because e-books provide a range of options for changing the text size and spacing of lines.
A 2013 study in the journal PLOS One observed reading comprehension and speed in 103 high school students with dyslexia. The study found that people with dyslexia read more effectively, and with greater ease, when reading e-books compared with reading paper books.
The study functions of e-books are also very powerful. There is no need to worry about collecting notes.
Highlighting and bookmarking are simpler in an e-book. Students can use their fingers to take notes instead of pens, pencils and highlighters.
Students can also quickly review notes. All the notes are accessible online in one place where they can view, share, download or print. They don’t need to through the entire book again.
A recent study from St. John Fisher College, Cayley Reid, noted that “the use of e-books can be used in the classroom to help promote students’ reading comprehension.”
E-books can be more environmentally friendly than paper books. While paper can be recycled, the paper recycling process itself can cause environmental pollution because of the sludge that is produced during the de-inking process.
Research shows that reading over 44 books on an e-reader would actually halve a person’s impact on the climate.
Students may have a negative impact of using e-books. Some students may use the excuse of using electronic devices to do something unrelated to study. But these people are minority, most people can still use electronic devices to read and study properly.
With the development of technology, the power of e-books will be bigger, and their benefits will be more. At school, the advantages of paper books will be smaller.
Therefore, from the perspective of students, e-books are more beneficial than paper books. E-books should replace paper books.