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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Is the switch to e-books coming to higher education?


by Eirk Edlund

For most of our history, technology has advanced at an accelerated pace. It was only recently that cell phones, tablets, computers and other digital devices became common place. As technology continues to change books have been relatively untouched.

For thousands of years human beings have recorded and read humanity’s thoughts and ideas on some medium. The reading and writing process rarely changed. What changed most during the centuries was the manufacturing process, such as paper and stencil. But in the last few decades that process is now significantly changing with the introduction of electronic books.

Many communities around the world lack giant library’s that can carry thousands of books. Having an e-book in the palm of your hand gives quick access to a world of knowledge. Every book in any genre you can think of is waiting to be read with click of a button.

People don’t have to have a tablet to get access to an e-book. Smart phones are a way to view and read an e-book. Also, personal computers let anyone have access to the thousands of e-books online.

Most school books are expensive. Students are expected to shell out hundreds of dollars for books that they need for classes. When a student purchases an e-book the price is significantly lower.

Students no longer need to carry around the significant weight of books to get to and from classes. Carrying all those books is hard on the back and can lead to many health problems.

E-books also can’t be destroyed the way a paperback or hardback book can. Rain, fire, and any other disaster could destroy an entire collection of books, but with e-books being digital all can be saved and backed up when the worst case scenario happens.

One of the benefits of an e-book is that you don’t have to worry about losing your place. Just press a button where to continue and your spot is saved. No more hassle of bookmarks and crinkling pages to know where you left off.

The time’s and technology continue to change and with the introduction of e-books one of the last great hurdles in looking to the future has been overcome. People don’t have to go out of their way to find a book they want to read. They can just sit back, relax, and click away to a book of their choice.



by Anna Taylor

Sitting in class and paying attention can be tough especially when you’re being distracted by a person surfing the Internet. It makes paying attention in class even more difficult. Imagine if everyone in class has a laptop, smart phone or tablet. This is what would happen if schools switched to e-books.

Checking in, posting pictures of lunch and commenting on the latest trends when we are supposed to be reading, means the reading will never get accomplished. Teachers and assignments will become background noise.

Technology dependence is starting at a young age. Children now have phones and tablets and attention spans are dwindling. There will be less student participation in actual activities and more anti-social behavior.

Technology is advancing and we should advance with it, but switching entirely to e-books would be counter-productive. Books are fragile, but so are the devices that we use for e-books. Dropping them, water damage and cracked screens are all common in electronic devices. They also run out of battery so reading time is limited.

Text books can be expensive, but the price of an iPad is $300-400, plus the price of the e-book. Students have found ways around expensive textbooks by borrowing them, buying them off other students and renting in order to save money. Sharing online textbooks can be tricky. Scanning pages of an e-book isn’t really an option.

E-books are cheap, but what about students who don’t have an electronic device? They have to resort to the library because they don’t have the luxury of sitting anywhere else.

Technology also makes students lazy. Answers are at their fingertips by searching on Google or wiki sites rather than using the library. This allows cheating to be more of a problem. If students are allowed electronic devices in class, then looking up answers can be a breeze.

While there are many advantages to technology, e-books replacing physical textbooks is not one of them. Not only is the use of technology expensive, completely distracting and causing attention spans to diminish, not all textbooks are available Online. Not everyone can afford a mobile device so it would create a separation between the haves and the have-nots. So yes, sitting back and clicking away is great, but not everyone can actually have that luxury.

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