How to study a textbook when it’s digital

How do you study a textbook effectively that isn’t a book at all? The prevalence of online school has also meant the widespread use of digital textbooks. Studying an online textbook is much different than studying a physical one. If you’re going to go high school online, then you better believe that most of your books will be digital, learning to effectively study these kinds of books is a necessity.

Here we’ll explain why textbooks have gone digital and give you some tips on how to better use them to power up your learning. If you’re an experienced student who is used to physical textbooks then you most likely already have the skills necessary to study a digital textbook successfully.

The rise of the digital texts

If you’re going back to school for the first time in a while, then you might be surprised by the use of digital textbooks. While it’s true that some online programs still will require the use of physical textbooks, the vast majority see digital texts as the future.

Digital textbooks are much more affordable and than physical ones and fit better into the online school model. Many times textbooks are available for free online where they would not be if you ordered a physical copy. The cost savings, as well as the positive environmental impact of digital textbooks, has led to their increased use and popularity.

If you’re not used to studying from a textbook that is on your computer instead of on your desk, then we have some tips to help. Below we have included some things you can be doing right now to improve what you can get out of digital textbooks.

How to study a digital textbook

Use an e-reader: Reading long pieces of text on a computer is not ideal. Most e-readers can be used to read pdf documents as well as e-books. If your e-reader doesn’t support pdf, then you can use a converter, like this one, to change it to an EPUB or MOBI file. The sooner you can start using an e-reader the better.

Make annotations: If you have an e-reader or tablet that you’re using with the ability to annotate text, you should use that feature. The iPad has a very usable annotation feature for documents and this can help you when you revisit the text for study later.

Manage your screen brightness: Too bright of a screen will strain your eyes. We suggest using an e-reader with a dpi display like a Kindle. The more you can protect your eyes while studying the better.

Take physical notes: You literally cannot take enough notes when you’re using a digital textbook. Handwriting your notes has the added benefit of helping to commit the information to memory. You can also mark page numbers for quick reference later.

Read out loud: This might seem a little strange at first, but multiple sensory activation is important when you’re trying to learn something. Reading out loud ensures that you’re not misreading anything and helps you remember the information more easily.

Final thoughts

The best part about digital textbooks is the price. Digital resources are almost always cheaper than traditional ones, and they save paper too. While using a digital textbook might seem strange at first, with a little practice, you will be able to use them more efficiently than a normal textbook.