The current generation is growing up “with tablets in their hands,” and according to Dash Wasserman, who is responsible for marketing and community relations at the Tulane University Bookstore, digital education materials are the way of the future.
More Tulane students are opting for cheaper, less cumbersome digital textbooks that can be housed on lightweight electronic tablets. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Wasserman, who has been speaking with Tulane faculty members about the incorporation of digital textbooks into their curriculum, says that applications like NOOK Study offer many additional benefits than a traditional textbook.
“It’s called NOOK Study because it’s supposed to make the studying process more efficient,” says Wasserman. “You can print out study guides for yourself and you can tag certain passages if they will appear on an exam.”
Along with eTextbooks — the digital, downloadable version of a physical book — NOOK Study allows students to access course syllabi and handouts from class. Users can organize information, highlight words or phrases and instantly search for definitions on the Internet.
Though it is still in its infancy, Tulane has had the NOOK Study application for two or three years. The demand for digital textbooks at Tulane also continues to increase.
“I’d say that every semester the number of eTextbook users generally doubles,” Wasserman says. “It’s maybe 50 one semester and then 100 the next and then that grows exponentially.”
One reason that demand has increased is because digital textbooks are more affordable for college students. Generally, buyers can save up to 60 percent with an eTextbook and sometimes even more with a rental. Also, as opposed to print textbooks that can take days to ship, eTextbooks can be downloaded instantly using an access code.
The NOOK Study application is free and is compatible with Mac and PC computers and devices.
Greg Thomson is a rising junior at Tulane who is studying communication.