eBooks = a more economical choice for JCJC students

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-09-09 06:13:28

ELLISVILLE – Electronic books became popular several years ago when the iPad and Kindle were introduced to the public. Educators across the country started incorporating this form of technology in the classroom soon after.  Jones County Junior College first introduced eBooks in 2009 in the Radiography department. By 2011 several more classes added eBooks like Academic Business courses, Art Appreciation, and English Comp I and II. Electronic books have proven to not only be popular with young tech-savvy students but they are also economical, which is one of the reasons JCJC administrators first researched the option for students.
“A traditional book costs a student $75 to $200+ and an eBook is no more than $80,” said Rick Youngblood, VP of Business Affairs.  “The move to offer eBooks was an effort to help students financially and because we found today’s students want to use technology.”
JCJC freshman from Ellisville, Shelbie Suber said she was first introduced to eBooks while taking summer classes. While electronic books were new to Suber, she found the transition easy. 

“I am not necessarily great with technology, but eBooks have been fairly simple to use,” said Suber. “It was an easy transition and it was easy to download thanks to the eLearning email with step by step instructions. Using eBooks are 100% more convenient and they are way more economical than having to buy a regular hard-copied book.”
She points out the fact that having an Internet connection isn’t necessary, after downloading the eBook. Students also have the option to download eBooks to four different devices: two computers/laptops, and two mobile devices like a Kindle or iPad.
“I downloaded all of my books to my iPad and I can read or study them anytime I want regardless of whether I have Internet access. I love being able to sit in my room and study by flipping through the pages on my iPad,” Suber said. “Our world is revolving more and more around technology every day and I consider it a great skill to have the ability to use eBooks. EBooks are a step forward, not a step back.”
Today, almost 75 percent of the academic classes offered at JCJC utilize the new technology. However JCJC students also have the option of using a paper book, in addition to the eBook, for an additional cost of $32 to $60 depending on the book, or students can print most of what they want after they download the eBook.
The eBook is automatically loaded in the JCJC Learning Management System, ‘Canvas’. The eBook can be viewed online while browsing in the students’ ‘Canvas’ or it can be downloaded to a tablet like a Kindle Fire or iPad to read offline,” said Jennifer Powell, Director of eLearning. “Because of copyright issues, the printed copy of the book, which is available for purchase with the eBook, can’t be printed in its entirety.”
Once a student logs into their account, they will have access to the eBook on the first day of class.  She said using this technology will prevent students from having to wait in long bookstore lines. 
Powell adds, “Using eBooks is a plus for students taking only online classes because they do not have to make a special trip to the campus bookstore for the textbook. Everything is online.”
Now, students can’t use the excuse they lost their book because it’s easily accessible. Another benefit to using an eBook Powell said is, “There’s always a backup in case your computer crashes.”
Highlighting and making notes is still possible with eBooks too. Instructors can also make notes and share them with the class. Additional information can be found on eBooks @ support.vitalsource.com.  Students needing assistance can call the 24/7 helpline for eBooks at 1.855.200.4146 or contact the JCJC eLearning office at 601-477-5454.


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