Why students are slow to adopt digital

Only 11% of students buy e-textbooks, according to market research firm Student Monitor. It makes for some interesting reading, which suggest there’s still a ways to go to get students fully digital. The 10 most important reasons:

  1. Availability: not all books they need are available and students typically take an all-or-nothing approach, which means they like to buy everything at once and at the same time;
  2. Cost: e-textbooks prices are still relatively high and combined with the starting cost of buying a device it’s still rather pricy;
  3. Ownership: they can’t lend or sell e-books to others;
  4. Ease of use: note taking is still not advanced enough for most students;
  5. Storage:           most devices, especially at the low end of the market, offer a fairly limited storage and e-textbooks are usually rather heavy: few books on a device;
  6. Competition:   there are better online alternatives for getting information;
  7. Awareness:      most of today’s students grew up with print and are not just to digital;
  8. Experience:     studying from screen is different than from paper;
  9. Findability:      It’s still hard to find a lot of e-books (metadata);
  10. Expectations:   in general, students expect more usability and social integration.
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