Traditional textbook education, or Innovative online education… That is the question. In today’s short blog, we’ll clarify some of the major differences between the two, and leave you to make the decision.

In today’s high passed environment, textbooks become out-of-date almost immediately after being published. They also cannot be updated until the next printing. eLearning platforms can be updated daily and any errors in printing can be corrected immediately.

Textbooks require chopping down forests of trees. Online education is not harmful to the environment.

It’s often easier to use eLearning platforms rather than textbooks. For example, very young children who cannot read can still learn by looking at pictures, videos and diagrams that resemble to real world in which they live. Textbooks are not introduced to children until they are 8, but the Internet can be useful from age 4.

Textbooks are limited to the information on their pages whereas educational web sites can link to an infinite number of other pages, elaborating as much detail as necessary.

Every PC is like an entire library whereas every textbook is only one book. In a textbook, students can jump from page to page but on-line they can jump from book to book.

Textbooks are commanding and do not leave room for student opinion. The Internet is interactive and allows students to interact with one another on chat pages.

Textbooks are very expensive; students attempt to evade the requirement of paying these amounts by photo-copying pages, which also ends up being expensive and leaving authors without due royalties. On-line learning requires only the initial cost for the hardware and a monthly connection fee which does not increase no matter how many students use it and how many different sites they visit.

Textbooks are heavy and take up a lot of space whereas every book in the world can fit into one small PC. Even the American Library of Congress is using PCs to store books now. A laptop weighs less than one or two textbooks and holds infinitely more information.

Textbooks have no sound, the Internet does. This is particularly useful for students of language who cannot only learn to read and write foreign words, but to pronounce them correctly. This is also exceptionally helpful for students of music.

Textbooks do not have animation, the Internet does. Textbooks also do not have video clips, the Internet does.

Textbooks cannot evaluate and correct a student performance on quizzes or questions, the Internet can.

If a student is reading a textbook and does not understand something, there is no one he or she may ask. eLearning tutors are often available 24 hour around the clock to assist students

Teachers and parents have know way of knowing whether students ever read their textbooks but they can keep track of all visits to educational web sites.