Print or Online? What Is Best for Your Classroom?


Print or Online? What Is Best for Your Classroom?

Remember when the only option was a print textbook? Times have changed as more and more schools are choosing to use online textbooks exclusively. What is the best choice for Career Technical Education (CTE) classes? It depends on classroom needs.
There are pluses and minuses to both print and online textbooks. Here are some considerations to take into account when making the choice.
Print Textbooks

  • Accessible to most students as technology is not required for use
  • Available at all times with no power required
  • Portable within a classroom, especially when dealing with utensils, tools, or machinery
  • Substantial when students have several textbooks to carry
  • Liable to wear and tear, as well as student damage

Online Textbooks

  • Flexible in location and time – use at school or at home when needed
  • Searchable for the instances when students need to find information quickly
  • Durable as there are no physical pages to tear or deface
  • Susceptible to downtime if there are Internet connection issues
  • Vulnerable to school technology and budgets as a computer or a tablet, in addition to Internet access, is required for use

There is no answer that fits every situation. When deciding between print and online, develop a list of specific needs for your classroom and evaluate each against what the formats have to offer. Maybe the answer is a blended solution that combines both, leveraging the advantages of print and online.
If you need assistance in making a decision, contact a publisher, such as Goodheart-Willcox, that specializes in CTE. They have helped many schools in similar circumstances and can provide free advice and recommendations to help you as well.
Goodheart-Willcox Publishing are gold level sponsors at NASDCTEc’s 2014 Fall Meeting