With regards to the electronic book (e-book) issue, I personally find the text on computer screens harder to understand, less interesting and even less persuasive than when written on paper. I seem to find paper texts easier to comprehend and somewhat more convincing. This may contribute to the different processing abilities students need to use when attempting to read computerized text. Readers tend to develop strategies about how to remember and comprehend printed texts, but undergraduates such as me are unable to transfer those strategies to the computerized version, regardless of how much computer experience we may have. I mean, how many of us used to print out the text from computers just so that we can understand and read it better? So if even university students have difficulty understanding computerized text, such reading material will definitely present additional hurdles for less competent readers.
Besides, it is quite costly to purchase highly functional portable reading devices. This may pose as a problem to students with financial difficulties. Although I understand that free samples or loans are provided, still, it is only limited to a few students. Moreover, internet connection is important for e-learning.
Problem arises for students who are staying in hostels as not enough internet lines are provided. Anyway, I am not saying that there are only disadvantages concerning the issue of today which is substituting books with the electronic media, as there are many good points regarding this topic. Students spend thousands of dollars on textbooks in an academic lifetime. By embracing these new technologies, students do not need to purchase a high volume of expensive, cumbersome and rapidly discarded books. There will also no longer be any storage problems in the future. This is specially good and appropriate for the younger generation as school bags are getting heavier day by day.
By substituting books with the electronic media, all we need to carry is our personal laptop. Besides that, once a text is stored electronically, it is possible to perform computer text operations such as word search. Specialized information retrieval techniques create another reason for people to switch to reading appliances. Imagine searching through a bundle of textbooks for the information you need, while you can do this with the electronic devices in just a matter of minutes. Although we are moving towards the electronic era, electronic book and document readers will neither replace paper nor will they replace desktop computers. Instead, I predict they will occupy their own unique and valuable role in knowledge work, bringing the paper and computer worlds closer together.
So, with this, I'll like to hand the time back to the chairperson.