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Summary:

The majority of U.S. college students now prefer digital formats whether they’re reading textbooks or “fun” books, according to a new survey…

College Animal House

The majority of U.S. college students now prefer digital formats whether they’re reading textbooks or “fun” books, according to a new survey from the Pearson (NYSE: PSO) Foundation.

“Survey on Students and Tablets 2012″ (PDF) polled 1,206 U.S. college students and 204 college-bound high school seniors. Some findings:

–College students prefer digital over print for “fun” reading (57 percent) and textbook reading (58 percent), “a reversal from last year, when more students preferred print over digital.” Pearson says the trend is also apparent among high-school seniors (though it doesn’t break out which format the majority prefer), “and is mostly driven by an increase in the preference to use tablets for reading.” The study doesn’t ask whether students are using tablets or e-ink e-readers for reading.

–A quarter of college students now own a tablet, compared to just 7 percent last year. Seventeen percent of college-bound high school seniors own a tablet, compared to four percent last year.

–Thirty-five percent of college students who own a tablet also own “an e-book reader or small tablet device.” (Not sure what a “small tablet device” is! Asking Pearson.)

–Among college students who own tablets, the iPad is the most popular (63 percent), followed by the Kindle Fire (26 percent) and Samsung Galaxy Tab (15 percent).

via INFOdocket

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  1.    

    Here’s an anecdote…my son had a school issued
    laptop through HS with downloaded textbooks and he’s a freshman in college
    today. Then and now, he prefers using a book in print – and he’s tech savvy
    too. Being a newspaper guy, I like that he’s reading in print too, but as a
    parent paying for college, the textbook savings would be nice…my conundrum.  The Washington Times just ran a piece titled,
    “In wired generation, students like paper for campus news.”  Check it out.

  2. As author of a textbook in three editions (all print), I can’t help but admit the advantages of e-textbooks: virtually immediate access to student questions and further probing, etc.  The extent of monetary savings, however, remains in limbo until the agency pricing issue is settled.  The future of libraries remains a question.

  3. As author of a textbook in three editions (all print), I can’t help but admit the advantages of e-textbooks: virtually immediate access to student questions and further probing, etc.  The extent of monetary savings, however, remains in limbo until the agency pricing issue is settled.  The future of libraries remains a question.  Another interesting question, perhaps less relevant to the paidContent audience, is a future in which society is split into those who consume reading material digitally and those who haven’t grown with that experience for whatever reason and so are “stuck” with print to the extent that it remains available.

  4. “The study doesn’t ask whether students are using tablets or e-ink e-readers for reading.”

    Wait, what? A study to see what they prefer as opposed to what they actually use? What good is that? I prefer a BMW, but I use a Nissan. Does that mean you’ll make more BMWs because there is a chance I might use one? What if those polled start to actually use their tablets for reading and they find they don’t like it? Do you re-poll them?

  5. I prefer to read on a tablet because as an MS pt of 35 yrs my eyes are getting bad. I am able to adjust the light and size of the easily.

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