E Books: The Portable Debacle Essay

1300 words - 6 pages

“They [tablets] could end up being an efficient way of delivering textbooks. They’re really just not that yet” (). Since the release of the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010 both of the markets have grown exponentially. According to idc.com “about 1billon smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2013” (Np). This was the first time since the mobile craze that that amount of phones had shipped. Tablets on the other hand shipped 221 million units in 2013. While not as high of number as the smartphones, the tablet shipments worldwide represented a 53.5 percent increase in shipments compared to that number in 2012. The reason for the popularity of smartphones and tablets is because of their many capabilities. In apple’s appstore for the iPad and the iPhone there was a reported 1 million apps available for use on the platform in October 2013. From productivity apps to games there is something for everybody to find useful for their smartphone or tablet. Despite all of the apps available for smartphone’s and tablets they still struggle to be relevant in today’s academic environment. Given the importance of technology at SPSU, I will analyze how despite the advances in mobile technology why books are still more popular in paperback than the eBook version.
As with any new technology there is always a cost prohibitive period before every consumer can afford a quality built piece. In the academic space, iPads are the most commonly used for eBook reading; however, iPad are one of the most expensive tablets on the market. In his article titled AN IPAD EDUCATION, Kenneth J. Cooper argues about the price of the iPad. “Some iPad are available for as low as $400, but that is still pricey for many students who struggle to pay college costs and in many cases at commuter schools… they work to pay living expenses or support their young families. Some models costs $800” (). With the limited budget of most SPSU students, an iPad is not a feasible option for classroom usage. There is also an issue with the different price points at which the iPad is priced. It would be up to SPSU to standardize which model of iPad to buy to use in the classroom. However, if SPSU required one of the more expensive models, it would still leave people who could afford the cheaper model at a disadvantage. There is also the issue between the cost of textbooks and the costs of e-textbooks. While the average e-textbook can cost less than a new textbook print, there are other unique issues that come with buying an e-textbook. In an article Reducing Textbook Costs: An unconventional approach, authors Bryce J. Jones and Katherine L. Jackson bring up a crucial point stating that “Because students cannot physically share e-textbooks there is no resale to recoup initial costs” ().This is not the same for textbooks whether bought new or used. There is always a market for old paper textbooks. Even if SPSU doesn’t buy it back it can be sold on Amazon or eBay, as there are plenty of websites dedicated to...

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