Textbooks have always been the core learning medium for children and adults in educational facilities across the country. Teachers as well often depended on these sources as a way to teach their subjects and impart knowledge to those within the classrooms. However, in recent times, the sources which teachers and students turn to have significantly changed now taken on a more digital form. The point of transition might not be as prominent, but there is no doubt that this shift was something that was due for a long time.
One of the first public reports of this was released by a firm known as McKinsey and Company. In this report, the company talked about the threat that publishers were facing from businesses that were selling used textbooks. The report made a bold statement about the second-hand market, stating that this was something that would overtake the new market that sold fresh books.
Reasons For The Shift
Because of the huge strain from these businesses, as well as the preference of digital forms of learning, books have without a doubt been experiencing a significant decline. There have of course been prominent factors that have played a role in these changes, and these have caused many publishers to change their entire product from paper-based books to e-books.
- An Outdated Form Of Learning
One of the biggest reasons why the textbook have been seeing such a significant decline is because of how they are viewed as an outdated medium for learning. Books have been a means to impart knowledge for a significantly long period of time. Ancient civilizations were using paper-based records to be able to note down different things, and this has been the medium for longer than one would expect. There was bound to be some kind of significant change in the way students learn, and Books were one of the ways in which the system could be improved.
- Rise Of Digital Content
We live in an age where technology has a role to play in every facet of our lives. Almost all the things that we do today involve some or the other form of technology. This technology has been playing a major role in the development that we have been seeing across sectors, which is why there is no surprise that this impacted the education sector as well. Phones, computers and tablets have become something that everyone uses on a daily basis, which makes this the perfect medium for learning. Digital mediums have not only impacted this sector but have also had a significant impact on the accessibility of learning tools. It has now become easier than ever to learn about new things, which physical textbooks were often not able to offer.
- Wider Scope For Learning
Books were not always conducive to a wide scope for learning. Twenty years ago, if someone wanted to know more about a certain subject, they would generally have to hit the library and find some books on it. Books played a huge role in this and served as a good basis for learning. Once the internet emerged, that suddenly emerged as the preferred medium to be able to expand one’s knowledge. Today, this has become easier than it has ever been. If someone wants to know something that is beyond the scope of their classroom learning, all they need to do is a simple Google search to find out all the information that they need. This has also made the need for additional class and study tools obsolete since students generally prefer getting their information on their handheld devices rather than searching for them in physical books.
- Ease Of Use
While not entirely an issue, students did always have trouble carrying around multiple books. Students around the world often have to carry their books to and from their schools, making it incredibly heavy every time they need to commute. However, with digital devices, one small piece of technology is all that one needs. Tablets and phones have eased the strain that children often felt when they would have to carry their books to school and have made their commutes a lot easier. Having digital information over physical books has also proven to be a lot better because of the organization that it brings with it. Students don’t have to fret over the fact that they may have lost one or two pages of their notes that they might need. This simple quality of life feature of digital devices has made books less preferred.
- Rising Cost Of Books
Ask any college student and they will tell you that one of the significant costs that they have to incur is that of their textbooks. Schools and universities generally release a list of mandated books that students need to get. However, these books are by no means cheap and can sometimes cost thousands of dollars for one year alone. Over the course of several years, this is an amount that goes up significantly and is also a big reason why students choose to go in for second-hand books. Because they tend to use the book only for a year, passing on books to those from lower batches is one way in which they can make back some of the money that they spend. For those buying these used textbooks, it is a significantly cheaper and viable way to get the books you need without having to spend thrice as much on it.