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How eBook Ban in US Classrooms Calls for Free Physical Textbooks

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In an increasingly digital world, the use of electronic books, or eBooks, has become prevalent in many areas of education. However, it is surprising to find that some professors in the United States choose to prefer traditional textbooks and forbid the use of eBooks in their classrooms. This article aims to explore the reasons behind this decision, examining the concerns raised by these professors and the potential drawbacks they associate with eBooks.

Why Professors Prefer Physical Textbooks Over Digital Books

The accessibility and affordability of digital textbooks have encouraged many students to prioritize them. They can download whatever textbook or academic material they need on their smartphones or laptops and carry it to their classrooms. Another influential factor is textbook prices. Students who neither have access to free textbooks nor can afford expensive ones can obtain the digital version of the book for free from various online resources. However, there are certain concerns expressed by professors who forbid the use of digital books in the classroom. Let’s now explore some of the reasons that lead educators to prioritize physical textbooks over digital books.

Distraction and Lack of Focus 

One of the primary concerns expressed by professors who forbid eBooks in the classroom is the potential for distraction and reduced focus among students. Unlike traditional textbooks, eBooks often come bundled with features that can be disruptive during class time, such as pop-up notifications, social media integration, and access to the internet. These features can divert students’ attention away from the subject matter being taught and hinder their ability to engage fully in the classroom environment.

Limited Note-Taking and Annotation 

Another commonly cited reason for the rejection of eBooks is the perceived limitations in note-taking and annotation capabilities. While some eBook platforms offer annotation tools, they may not be as intuitive or efficient as writing directly on paper. Professors argue that physical note-taking allows students to develop better information processing and retention skills. They believe that the act of writing notes by hand enhances cognitive processes and promotes active learning, whereas typing on a device might encourage passive reading.

Eye Strain and Health Concerns 

Extended screen time has raised concerns among educators and health professionals. Some professors argue that reading from a screen for extended periods can lead to eye strain, fatigue, and other health-related issues. Printed textbooks are often preferred by these professors as they eliminate the potential risks associated with excessive exposure to electronic devices. Moreover, they believe that physical textbooks offer a more comfortable and ergonomic reading experience, allowing students to maintain their focus and engage with the material for longer durations.

Limited Access and Technical Issues 

While access to digital resources has improved over the years, challenges related to technology and connectivity persist. Some professors may be hesitant to rely on eBooks due to concerns about the availability of devices, compatibility issues, and potential disruptions caused by technical problems. In such cases, physical textbooks are seen as a more reliable and accessible option for all students, ensuring that everyone has equal access to the required course materials.

How Students Can Deal With The Situation

The first and foremost solution to this issue is to make traditional textbooks accessible and affordable. While the government, educational institutions, and educational support organizations have been working to provide financial support to students enabling them to meet their educational expenses and buy textbooks, there is still a long way to go.

Students can find resources for physical textbooks that may provide them with used textbooks, free textbooks, or discounted textbooks. Libraries are a great resource for free textbooks. Moreover, educational websites like SolutionInn are also a resource for free textbooks and academic support to students. It helps students get secondhand textbooks without paying anything and arranges for quick and free delivery of textbooks all across the US, UK, and Canada.  

The Bottom Line

While the use of eBooks in education continues to grow, it is essential to understand the reasons why some professors in the US choose to forbid their use in the classroom. Concerns related to distraction, limited note-taking capabilities, eye strain, and access are among the primary factors contributing to their decision. It is worth noting that these concerns may vary from professor to professor and depend on the specific teaching context. Ultimately, the choice between eBooks and traditional textbooks should be based on careful consideration of academic goals, student preferences, and the availability of resources.


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