The ‘e’ in eTextbook stands for “electronic”. These are textbooks that can be read and annotated from laptops, eBook Readers, tablets and even smartphones. There are many advantages to using eTextbooks, here are a few we find notable:
Lower Cost Than Print Books
Most of the time eTextbooks are a fraction of the cost compared to the physical version of the text. The actual price difference will vary by book, but for an example, the textbook “Operating System Concepts” on Amazon costs $115 but the eTextbook costs just $41 (see the most recent price comparison of this textbook here).
eTextbooks directly cut down on the amount of paper that would be used for physical textbooks. In turn, fewer trees are cut down.
Store Multiple Textbooks on One Device
With eTextbooks, you don’t need to lug around several multi-pound textbooks in your backpack, but rather aone device that has them all.
Access Textbooks Anywhere, Even Without an Internet Connection
No WiFi on the beach? Not a problem. Because eTextbooks are downloaded to the user’s device(s), they are accessible anywhere and everywhere.
Online Course Integration
Many (though not all) eTextbooks offer course curriculum and learning activities in conjunction with the text through an online portal. In addition to this, instructors are able to view student progress and set deadlines for these learning activities. This makes it easy to integrate these resources into your existing course.
Most eTextbooks offer a variety of studying features such as multi-color highlights, a notebook and a dictionary. Many eTextbooks also allow you to search for keywords and phrases from within the text, making it easier to find specific content.
Are My Course Textbooks Available as eTextbooks?
Probably, but to find out for sure, search for your textbook on one of these popular eTextbook providers:
With over 1 million titles from more than 1,000 educational content providers, VitalSource is a leader in the age of eTextbooks. Content is accessed from VitalSource’s Bookshelf app (available on Mac, PC, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Android and iOS).
The provider of nearly anything money can buy also has a large collection of eTextbooks. These eTextbooks are purchased through Amazon’s main website, then delivered and downloaded to any device with the Kindle app (available on Mac, PC, Chromebook, Windows Phone, Kindle Devices, Android and iOS).
Chegg offers a large library of eTextbooks that are available on any device with an internet connection, no software needed. Though it supports many devices, there’s a trade-off in that Chegg does not allow you to download eTextbooks for offline use.