Digital textbooks are an interesting beast. Do you use them? My school subscribes to Kerboodle, Doddle, Dynamic-Learning and others.
Today my daughter asked to see if I might borrow copies of a science textbook teachers roll out during lessons that seems to be much better than the issued course book she has. I found out that is available to her electronically via kerboodle. But this was not sufficient: “but that’s no use to me is it?” she quipped when I suggested she already had access to this material. She wanted the paper version. Why?
She wants to be able to use the book on her desk (where her lovely iMac is also located) without using her computer because she wants to be able to *read* it.
So, I opened it to see what I thought. It’s not great. You get the content as above and you can zoom…
Or change the layout to make it more appropriate for certain screens:
Then there are the digital tools that come as part of the book.
Then there’s a glossary:
And you can check the learning outcomes:
And you can add your own notes, or take pictures that save to your computer:
I think I’ve covered all the major features bar testing it out on a tablet. But are these things really what learners want? Would you want to use them? Is it a matter of learning to use these new resources? Or do they exist just because they can and purse holders buy them because they are cheaper than the hardcopy versions?
To double-check I showed my daughter all these features to see if they make any difference to her opinion of these digital textbooks. It will save me the best part of £60.00 that these three science books cost on amazon. Sadly they did not change her mind – “it’s not a book!”. I missed out a search tool from the features which is quite good, but the keyword *acid* had 78 pages in results and each page takes a flash minute to load. Tried the iPad as well: fail.
So I search the app store for an app… and found revision apps from same company but no reader app for their digital textbooks.
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Do you know of a digital textbook that is better than the hardcopy equivalent?