Over the last few years, many schools have been slowly transitioning to online textbooks, with Marjory Stoneman Douglas being one of them. These books, referred to as Ebooks, can be accessed through the school’s Single Sign On website.
With the change to online technology, varying opinions from students have risen. Although the use of online textbooks makes text more accessible to students, not every student has the proper technology or internet access in their home. Other issues occur since technology is not reliable 100 percent of the time and students may not be able to complete an assignment if an error on the internet occurs.
“Personally I prefer the real book,” junior Sophia Cichetti said. “It is easier to access because Canvas and other websites can malfunction.”
Some students are not fully able to concentrate, due to the many distractions on the internet like games and social media. Online textbooks can also cause a strain on students’ eyes from looking at their screen for too long.
“Usually when I’m on the textbook doing homework, I am normally very bored,” sophomore Samantha Husar said. “I’ll go onto anything else, just to distract myself.”
On the other hand, many students do prefer to use online textbooks. Features such as text-to-speech reader, which reads the content of the textbook to readers, helps students who are reading longer passages and are having a hard time understanding the context. Ebooks also help with the learning of vocabulary and pronunciation, along with the access search bar which aids in finding certain pages and words.
Some students also prefer Ebooks because they reduce the weight of their backpack. Without having to carry textbooks around, students are less likely to have problems with back and shoulder pain.
“[Ebooks] would be better,” sophomore Gerson Pierre said. “Students don’t have to strain themselves to carry backpacks.”
Additional reasons why students are making the switch are to be environmentally friendly and to not worry about misplacing a textbook.
Having online textbooks has profound effects on larger schools like MSD. These schools do not have to worry about running out of tangible textbooks, since the quantities are endless on the internet. The online books also serve as backups to students who misplace textbooks or need quick access to a textbook in personalization.
“I think that going to online textbooks is in a lot of ways a good thing because it allows students to access the textbooks from anywhere. It adds that convenience factor, you don’t have to carry a textbook with you,” English teacher Katherine Posada said. “But at the same I like to have a book in my hand. So I think a lot of people want that feeling of being able to turn the pages and find something that way. I think that it has good and bad things about it.”
Every student and teacher has their own varying opinion on having online textbooks. Though some may not be ready to give up their traditional textbooks, others would jump at the chance to have the online version. Whatever the case may be, online textbooks are an additional resource that is accessible to students at MSD.