Benefits of learning from textbooks

This century boasts of high technological advancements and a sea of information is available online about every topic.

Life without Google has become hard to imagine. Slowly libraries, research papers and newspaper archives have made for the internet. From professionals, teachers and students, all of them seem to have been smitten by and adapted to the virtual world.

 Students are also reaping the ‘benefits’ of innovation in technology and are able to easily access information on a variety of topics. From a kindergarten student to a doctorate, whether it is a mathematics sum to be solved or an English poem to decipher, internet has now become a student’s best friend. This has led to the decline in the use of the traditional textbooks, which could be earlier considered the only gospel truth. This has also led to a paradigm shift not only in form but also in content.

But this new form of learning from the internet which includes learning from e-papers, teaching aids, videos and graphics poses some fundamental concerns. A student could blindly rely on textbooks as the content most of the times would be revised by the author. Authors were known for their academic pursuits and were of high caliber.

While learning from the internet is easy and can be faster, the credibility of the information on the net is at stake. Most of the information on the net cannot be depended on especially when the content available online can be uploaded from any part of globe posing the use and context in one’s country.

Best teaching aids

The significant role of textbooks in a student’s life needs no special emphasis. Over the generations, textbooks have proven to be excellent teaching aids. They are a resource for both teachers and students. They provide a reliable point of reference and present organised units of work. Various studies and surveys have shown that use of textbooks for imparting education has not become obsolete, though information present in such books is rarely applicable in practical business scenarios.

The role of textbooks is slowly decreasing due to the Internet. The credibility of the internet cannot be compared to that of the text books published by academicians. Students choose it because of its easy accessibility and for last minute preparation. Also at the university level new subjects are introduced every semester, buying the prescribed textbooks can turnout expensive.

However the current situation faced by academicians is with respect to non-availability of specific text books which seems to have caused a wave of tension and anxiety amongst the teaching fraternity. The performance of students in their examinations is going to be affected to a great extent because of such non-availability of text books.

Non-availability is attributed to shortage in various book stores. Students pursuing various undergraduate courses are finding it increasingly difficult to find the prescribed textbooks. Second hand books or older editions cannot be purchased because of annual revisions that take place in the syllabus.

Another major reason for non-availability is the lack of adequacy and relevance in certain text books. Modern textbooks in many advanced nations boast of several attractive features such as CD accompaniments, easy-to-comprehend tabular and diagrammatic representations, real-life case studies and reports, etc. They portray more practical applications and aspects of the subject. The need for having global knowledge on several topics is essential and hence students seek to acquire those textbooks which provide them a worldly perspective on their subjects.

Coming to a more specific reason for non-availability of textbooks is the delay in government decisions on certain policies. For instance, taxation laws is a core subject of great importance in most commerce and management courses. However, the delay in presentation of the Union  Budget in the parliament seems to have an adverse effect for college students as well.

Surely we have enough academicians who are willing to author textbooks for different universities. Though the universities should encourage them further in updating textbooks, providing a platform to publish, graphically appeal them to the students. If we incorporate global standards of publishing textbooks at affordable prices it can start playing a more important role to study for students.

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