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10 Ways eTextbooks Make Good Study Partners

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10 Ways eTextbooks Will Change Your LifeReady to try eTextbooks but a little hesitant? You aren’t alone. But if you think they’re just the print version in PDF format, think again. Digital textbooks have come along way since the “next page” days. With collaborative tools, built-in multimedia study aids, note-sharing capabilities, interactive features like quick search and definition look-up, etextbooks are one of the most valuable study partners you can have by your side. Then there’s the potential cost savings, the lightweight mobility, and – well, the list goes on.

We sat down with digital content expert Carrie Watkins to chat about that long list of benefits. She works with schools and faculty to adopt more eTextbooks for their courses, hosts a podcast about digital content, and trains the MBS team on how to help students just like you embrace – and excel with – digital textbooks. In other words, she dreams in pixels.

Carrie Watkins MBS Direct Digital Content eTextbooksSSpecialist

Carrie Watkins

1. You can save a few bucks – like up to 60% of your bucks“You can expect to save between 20 and 60% off a new book price when you choose an eTextbook option. Be sure to check out the license length when deciding on a digital option. The shorter the term, the cheaper it will be. If you have a shorter term and you won’t need this book after the course is over, look for 90-day options. eReaders such as VitalSource will allow you to export your notes from the book, in case you do need to refer back to a concept in a later course.”

2. Instant access means no waiting in lines and no waiting by the mailbox
“Remember freshman year when you bought that expensive title that the professor never used? Lesson learned. Waiting until you get the course syllabus can help you identify which titles are really needed, but that strategy can put you in a lurch if the title is out of stock or you need to wait a week to actually receive it. With digital textbooks, you get access to the title within minutes. We do recommend you purchase the title well before your midterms, though.”

3. The interactive features will turn you into a study session superstar
“Most things you would want to do with a print textbook, you can do with a digital textbook. Highlighting? You can color code your highlights – on purpose and not because you keep losing your highlighters. Taking notes? You can type notes into the eTextbook and export them into a rich text file that you can open in Word or Google Docs. No more retyping your notes and trying to decipher your handwriting. eTextbooks can also do a few things that print textbooks aren’t able to. Many digital books have study tools that can create flashcards based on the main topics of the chapter. Many publishers are also working to put more multimedia in the eTextbook as well, such as videos and quizzes to make sure you are getting the material before the midterm.”

4. You’ll be able to take charge on group projects
“Group projects are the best, said no college student ever. Imagine being able to share notes with a group in your class or a study group and not even having to talk with them face-to-face. With eTextbooks, you can create a specific highlight color that you can share with specific people in your class, as long as they have the same book you are highlighting. Professors can even share their own notes with students to point out areas students should pay close attention to.”

5. You can study on the go
“You don’t always carry your bookbag with you. But the last time you left your phone at home…oh wait. That doesn’t happen. Reading during your bus ride to class or checking notes while you wait for your roommate to make a ‘quick run’ to Trader Joe’s means you get your studying done faster.”

6. You can study on the go in that basement room that doesn’t get WIFI
“While it seems like WIFI is ubiquitous, as soon as you need to do some last-minute studying, you will find the only building on campus that doesn’t have internet access. With digital content, you can download your book to be able to read no matter where you are.”

7. You’ll drop 5 pounds overnight
“You didn’t realize you were signing up for a weightlifting class when you enrolled in calculus, did you? With eTextbooks, you can get the same content – images and all – that only weighs as much as the device you use to read it. Perhaps you have a course with multiple required books. Juggling titles is as simple as clicking on a different book image.”

8. You can have your books read you to sleep at night
“Print textbooks work well for a lot of people. Except for those who have vision problems. Or who don’t read the language well. Or who have dexterity issues. eBooks and the eReader platforms behind them level the playing field for many students with text-to-speech functions, the ability to increase the font size and alt-text that reads image descriptions through JAWS readers. But honestly, having these options make it better for all readers. And wouldn’t it be nice to have the textbook read to you?”

9. You get the advantage of flexible licensing & rental options
“When was the last time you purchased a textbook knowing you wouldn’t ever use that material again? Oh, last semester? With the different licensing terms for many eTextbooks, you can often choose the license length that works best for you. The most common are 90 days, 180 days, 360 days, and perpetual. The shorter the license, the lower the cost.”

10. You’ll get thank you notes from those trees you saved
“eTextbooks have a significantly lower environmental impact than their print counterparts. The obvious change is the number of trees that remain standing, but if you take into account the shipping and packaging that goes into getting a book to you, eTextbooks are significantly more eco-friendly than print textbooks.”

Carrie Watkins is a Senior Digital Consultant with MBS Direct. Connect with her on Twitter @CarrieJWatkins. Learn more about eTextbooks elsewhere on our blog.

Great – we’ve got ‘em. Thousands of ‘em. In almost every subject you’re studying. So grab your syllabus and let’s get you what you need > Search eTextbooks now

Search eTextbooks Now


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* Not all features available on all titles. Please refer to Digital Rights information for each title to learn more.