Moving from paper to screen

Moving from paper to screen

The Indian education system has embraced digital publishing across the said sector right from the beginning and has continuously invested in cutting-edge digital content for their educational ecosystem to provide flexible, quality solutions that bring together print and digital. Teaching methods have been largely influenced through this digital disruption and positive impacts are often seen to be instrumental for a totalitarian evolution of an outdated system.

A typical Indian classroom was defined by long hours of lectures given by teachers, employing heavy books and handwritten notes as tools to impart daily lessons. It used to be a one-way communication, with the teacher calling out the lessons, adding undue drudgery and stagnancy into what should be a dynamic exchange of information. The inclusion of e-books has made the environment of the class more participative than ever.

With the help of digitisation, teachers now have tools to teach students through interactive features and with easy readability, decrease the redundancy through inclusion of proactiveness. Introduction of e-books has made the process of education more simplified and attention-grabbing for both teachers and students.

Here are some ways in which e-books are influencing teaching methods:
Add versatility: E-books can accommodate a variety of interactive features, that can be incorporated seamlessly. Students in high school, college and university get an added advantage by resorting to graphical ways of understanding concepts (with videos and infographics leading to an enriching experience). By utilising e-books, teachers can easily capitalise on immense learning methodologies. Lessons go beyond being just one-dimensional with students grasping faster and responding better towards these interactive cues.

Helps in search & highlight: The ability of quick searching makes e-books comprehensive when it comes to searching for information. Being digitally powered, teachers can access information through interconnecting the vast world of Internet with the reader platform. This will aid them in imparting world-based knowledge in class along with keeping up with the advancements in the teaching sector. Besides this, teachers can bookmark important pages or chapters and take notes, alongside keeping reminders for each point jotted.

Compactness as an asset: An added benefit of e-books is that they take up less space. Teachers and students alike don’t need any specific space to store or carry them. All they need is a technology-based reading device like a personal computer, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone that’ll hold hundreds and thousands of e-books at any given time.This also helps in sharing guides and reference books to students, without the hassle of any extra purchase.

Preservation being a key feature: E-books are ageless as they do not burn, catch mildew, crumble or rot. They help in restoration of many physical books that have succumbed to the ravages of time. Fine examples of literature have often suffered loss due to perishability of paper. E-books reduce this perishability owing to their digitally powered nature, hence saving literary greats by immortalising it on a digital platform. Now, teachers can access their favourite literary books and incorporate tried and tested knowledge to the modern curriculum.

Enlisting the help of TTS (Text-To-Speech): E-books, with the incorporation of TTS, have multiple advantages that enhance the learning experience. They help students with dyslexia, reading challenges or visual impairments and can also reduce eye strain, improve language perception and promote listening skills. Teachers of special schools benefit largely from this, as it makes the dissemination of knowledge amongst people with disabilities, much easier. Barriers to education get diminished through incorporation of such amenities.

Cost effective: E-books are cheaper to produce and to purchase. Not only are they an aid to economically challenged students, they decrease the monopoly of big publishers by allowing smaller publications to contribute to the publishing ecosystem. For a developing nation like India, it helps in the infiltration of education to those remote parts where books and other stationeries cannot be accessed. For teachers, it is easy to purchase close to 20 e-books at the same time. This helps them in bulk purchase and easy distribution of books among the students.

As mobile technology flourishes, the demand for these mobile devices in education rises. The younger generation has seamlessly incorporated digital devices into their daily lives. This makes for an undeniable decision for its progressive use in schools.

If technology is what our children are surrounded with, why disconnect them when it comes to education. With the incorporation of e-books, teachers inject a fresh lease of life into their curriculum. When education flourishes, it becomes an added asset to the community in general.

(The author is executive director, ePUB-Hub)

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