Textbooks: a thing of the past?


Whether it’s your own experience as a student, your friends, or your children, we are all aware of the tales of extortionately priced textbooks for learning.

As we continue to immerse ourselves in technology in our everyday lives, can the prices of these learning materials really be justified? Many believe that the demand for textbooks as learning resources is dying out, as we’re relying on the internet to be our source of endless information.

A recent study by Personal Global Learners, conducted with The Harris Poll, questioned approximately 11,000 adults aged between 16-70 around the world. Around 1,000 respondents were from the UK.

What did they say?

  • 59% of UK adults think that it is likely print textbooks will be obsolete by 2025
  • 56% think it’s likely that more primary and secondary school pupils will attend school virtually (online) within the next 10 years
  • 54% think YouTube will become a primary learning tool
  • 81% think that learning will become more “self-service” meaning that people will rely more heavily on free online resources

The truth is, the internet can host a whole load more information than a textbook. The problem is knowing whether a source is reputable or not, something that isn’t questioned with textbooks. Maybe it comes down to preference too, just like how some people prefer to read from a real book rather an e-book.

In ten years’ time, learning is likely to be different to how it is today. Maybe history lessons will enable students to go back in time using virtual reality. Or maybe physical classrooms will be a thing of the past and instead of schooling with those who live nearby, pupils will be studying with people from all around the world.

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