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E-book or Textbook

December 9, 2009

Jason Chung, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School

E-books provide audio, visual and even interactive learning, but if textbooks are to be replaced by e-books, teachers will need to know how to use a computer. Some teachers do not use computers. E-books might confuse such teachers.

E-books could also be damaged by careless students.

I prefer printed textbooks to e-books. I do not want to stare at the computer screen all day long. Plus I like to highlight important lines in textbooks to help me study, I can’t do that with e-books. How would I do my revision?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2010 11:29 am

    By Kam Man-na

    Burden of e-learning

    I don’t think replacing textbooks with e-books is a good way of reducing environmental damage.

    It’s true that e-books are lighter, but they may pose other problems.

    Viruses may attack our computers and some students may not know how to cope.

    Besides, students may be tempted to play computer games or surf the internet instead of doing revision.

    What’s more, repair fees make e-learning expensive.

  2. March 23, 2010 12:57 pm

    By Kanis Lam Tsz-kan, Pooi To Middle School

    We are all worried about deforestation as it is one of the main reasons leading to climate change. Using e-readers is the best means to tackle the problem.

    E-books are more environmentally friendly as we can download books from the internet, rather than cutting down trees needed for paper pages. According to research by a green group, each person uses paper equivalent to about 40 trees a year.

    Some people feel e-books will have a negative effect on the printing industry. This may be true, but we must strike a balance between environment and economy.

    Besides being environmentally friendly, e-books can hold hundreds of volumes – you can literally carry a library with you.

    Such a simple device, I believe, could bring about a massive improvement in the health of the environment.

    • March 23, 2010 12:57 pm

      It is interesting that you blame deforestation on the paper industry. Yet, when you think about it, we need trees to make paper. It is wrong to believe that the paper you use comes from somewhere deep in the Amazon jungle. It does not.

      In the majority of cases, paper comes from specially planted forests of trees. These forests offset carbon: as the trees are felled to make paper, news ones are planted.

      Further, paper is biodegradable. E-waste is poisonous and is not biodegradable. Besides e-readers, let us consider how many computers, phones and other gadgets we buy each year. All these add to our pollution woes.

      Also, you never need to “upgrade” anything when you use paper. But if you want to continue to use your e-reader, you need new programs because the old ones simply won’t work. If everyone switched over to e-readers, they would be at the mercy of companies that regularly change their devices just to sell more. People would be forced into upgrading even if they didn’t want to.

      Susan, Editor

  3. March 2, 2010 4:39 pm

    By Jason NG , Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

    I think Jason Chung is right but I think E-books are worse than textbook. Although E-books have many benefits: E-books can provide audio, visual and Jason thinks E-books can encourage interactive learning. It attracts the students to learn. It upgrades the students learning efficiency. It is better for students. And E-books have many books. Students can read books and study any time. It is convenient for students.

    But I think textbooks are better than E-books because I think E-books damage my health. It is bad for my eyes. If you use E-books for long time, you may have to wear glasses. And then you do not to be fireman, policeman.

  4. Lam Sai Chak@ FahrenheitOnly, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School permalink
    February 24, 2010 5:07 pm

    I agree with Jason Chung (“E-book or textbook). I think you’re right! But, I think E-book may make students more interested in study. Most of the teachers in Hong Kong know how to use a computer. And I believe that E-book will be easier to use than a desktop! Also, an E-book can replay what teachers have taught too! The other good thing is it is so environmentally friendly! No need to cut trees, low power consumption, and it is reusable!

    Although it is easy to make people suffer myopia, it does more good than harm! So, I think e-book is good that textbook! I hope we can use e-book in the near future!

  5. December 11, 2009 4:58 pm

    Chloe Chu, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

    It’s 50/50

    Jason thinks that using textbooks to learn is better than e- books. I totally stand on his views. As there are some inconvienents in learning by e-books, like highlighting some important points for revision.

    First, if students stare at the computer screen long time, it will make thier eyes be tired and demaged. Even worse, it will affect their study latter on because the students can not be concentrated.

    Secondly, some parents can not avoid the cost of the textbooks.

    However, they can buy some old books instead of the new one as the textbooks can reuse that it is very environmantal friendly.

    Moreover, teachers are very busy in working and they are already pay lots of attention to look after the students.

    Therefore, it is no more extra time for the teachers to learn the new abilities of computer again.

    Some students may not be good at using computers and it could slow down their study.

    So do you still prefer to learn by using e-books instead of textbooks ?

  6. December 11, 2009 4:54 pm

    Tracy Lui, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

    E-learning is beneficial

    Jason said E-learning might bring teachers and students some problems,so he chooses printed textbooks instead of e-book.

    I think using computer is not a problem for teachers. I am a Form Six student.We need to study other knowledge which is out of textbooks,so my teachers lecture with the use of powerpoint every day.

    Jason also said that students cannot highlight the main points in textbooks if they use e-books,but i think we can jot notes.I always jot the key points in my notebooks when my teachers are conducting the lessons.

    When i revise for the examination, i just make use of notes and my notebooks..

    As Jason said,teachers only have to pay for the materual they use and students’school bags will be lighter if using e-book.Why do not adopt e-learning?

  7. December 11, 2009 4:51 pm

    Emma Li, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

    E-learing should be abolished

    Jason thinks using printed textbooks is better than e-books for several reasons.I agree with his view point.

    Carrying a lot of books to school can be solved not only by implementing electronic learning.. Government can restrict the books publishers to seperate a book into diferrent chapters of booklets so that the health of students will not be affected.

    If they introduce e-learning, I believe that’s another way to disturb students’ health as staring at the monitor all day long isn’t good for eyes.Afterschool, they still have to log in the computer to do revivision, is it really good for them?

    Other than that, e-learning may seem to be more attractive than traditional learning but how about the efficiency of learning? How can students jot notes or highlight some key concepts when teachers are interpreting some ideas?

    It is obvious that e-learning brings students inconvinient.

    Before introding e-learing, there are still many problems to cope with, the government should make a good choice between the cost of textbooks and the efficiency of learning.

  8. December 11, 2009 4:49 pm

    By Ng kai lap

    I also like printed textbook rather than e-books.

    There is no doubt that students’s school bags will be lighter if they use the e-books.Besides,since the cost of the textbook is more expensive and the publishers publish some new version textbooks,parents have no choice that they need to buy the new one.It brings a heavy burden on parents.

    Therefore,e-book is a good choice for parents and teachers .But i think it will bring another problems.If stundets always stare at the computer screen,it may harm theirs eyes.Also,students may become less concentrate on listening what teachers are saying.And less communication between teachers and students.Students may be shy to talk to others face to face.

    Althogh textbooks are heavy and dull,i can jot down some notes and highlight some mainpoints.When i have the examination,i can easy to do my revision.

    If someone talk to me which one i will prefer to textbook or e-book?I still like the traditional, dull textbooks.

  9. December 11, 2009 4:29 pm

    By So Wing Ching, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

    I agree with Jason’s doubts and can see why he sees limits to E-learning.

    In deed, E-learning is a tool to reduce the rapidly increasing costs of textbooks and renew the traditional teaching methods. However, there are some problems behind it.

    The materials used to prepare for the students is a wide range of consideration. There are different abilities of student who may need different degree of materials.

    Also, the costs of setting up the whole E-learning system is unknown. As it need to combine a computer or a mobile phone with some materials for the students, it may lead to another financial problems for the parents.

    The most important key is how can student learn from using e-books.The senior students who have many curosity may do not have adequate self-control ability for the attraction of e-books.Sitting in front of the computer may also affect the health of students such as eye problems, shoulder’s ache.etc.

    E-learning can bring a plenty of benefits for the new trend of education sysyem. It still can cause other problems. The government need to have a series of strategies to tackle these problems.

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