Capstones Fall 2013 - page 10

F
or some Darton State College health science
students, printed textbooks are a thing of the past.
Starting in August 2013, students in the
Respiratory Care Program at Darton began using
electronic books instead of traditional paper books.
Allethea Brooks, director of clinical education
at Darton, says the “ebooks,” as they are called,
save the students about 40 percent, compared with
traditional books, and can be accessed on a variety
of platforms, such as desktop computers, laptops,
tablets, and smartphones.
It’s a move that more college faculties and
students are adopting, according to recent articles
in news outlets such as CNBC and Forbes. While
college costs continue to rise for many – including
the costs of textbooks – using ebooks is one way
students can combat inflation. Many students are
already used to using smartphones and tablets to
access information, experts say, so it makes sense
that they access their educational materials the
same way.
Some Darton students, though, were initially a
little skeptical, especially when faced with the
upfront costs of a tablet or laptop.
“Honestly, there has been a mixed reaction,”
Brooks said. “Some students say it takes some
getting use to. Others prefer the traditional
textbooks and like the ‘turning of the pages.’ One
student said that she loved it and it really made it
easier to learn.”
In the fast-moving world of medical technology,
where devices and techniques can change within a
few months, one advantage of using the ebooks is
that students don’t have to pay for a new version
of the ebook or wait a year or two for the new
information to finds its way into print – the ebooks
update automatically each time the student logs
on. The adoption of ebooks is just one step in
a move to update the learning experience for
students, Brooks says.
“With the new use of ebooks, the Respiratory
Care Program will eventually have updates in
technology within the classroom,” Brooks said. “We
are excited and looking forward in the future in
respiratory care.”
-WAYNE PARTRIDGE
10
ACADEMICS
Fall 2013
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