How digital textbooks will shape the future

As a student, I’ve thought a lot about what the future of education will be like. Brilliant online learning resources like the Khan Academy and exist, but what about textbooks?

Here’s what the future may hold for digital textbooks. There is an incredible amount of potential.


Writing a paper but can’t remember where to find what you need? Don’t just search for it, find it.

Interactive learning

Inkling provides a promising preview into the future of digital textbooks.

Dictionary, glossary, and audio built-in

Instead losing time and concentration by flipping between pages, just look it up right there. This could prove particularly useful in language classes.

Be social

Some studies show that students with more facebook friends get better grades.

There are some pretty crazy location-based apps out there like The Situationist, which lets you send out a request for someone nearby to do something totally random for you.

“Who’s studying BIO CHEM 234 nearby?”

Textbooks and apps could have a social aspect to it that uses your location to set up study groups on the spot.

Learn from others

I always try to buy used books not just because they’re cheap, but because they include notes from other students. I’ve learned a lot from those. Sometimes useful, sometimes not…

The Amazon Kindle can show which passages are the most highlighted. Many reading applications offer the same functionality.

Read anywhere

Thanks to the cloud, you won’t have to worry about accidentally leaving your books behind. I have missed assignments because I haven’t been able to work on them when I planned to.

Why hasn’t this happened yet?

So if this all possible, why hasn’t this happened yet?

Inkling has the right vision, but publishers and universities have to make some adjustments for this to become a reality.

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