After having read the U.S.A. Today article on universities requiring students to buy e-textbooks, I have come to some
conclusions regarding the enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors of e-textbooks.
Though I have never personally used an e-textbook, I can certainly see how the incorporation of textbooks in my technology-
based research repertoire could be useful and efficient. The ability to instantly reference a webpage, or to copy an excerpt
or definition directly into one’s notes is definitely an enabling characteristic. The versatility of technology also means
that e-textbooks are readily accessible through a variety of electronic devices.
As limiting factors go, some of the commenters on the article pointed out that an intelligent shopper could probably find a
used physical copy of the book on the internet, and e-textbooks are impossible to sell back later. In a tough economy, this
fact alone could make e-textbooks less attractive to students.
Still, the convenience of carrying your book on a flash drive instead of lugging it around in a bag is appealing.
Portability and convenience are the motivating factors for this technology.
Inhibitors to the success of this product among students are that e-textbooks are economically unsound investments, and that
a book loses its intrinsic value when you take the literature off of a page and onto a screen.