10 Reasons Why PDF is the Right Format for Ebooks in Education

The introduction of the Kindle has created a heightened interest in ebooks. While there have been a number of different ebook readers available for a number of years, the Kindle seems to have captured the attention of a great number of people who hadn't considered ebooks in the past. While I believe this attention is good for ebooks in general, I believe that for educational ebooks PDF is the best format for overall use. I have put together 10 reasons why I believe this to be true.

1. Comfort - Teachers and students are already comfortable with PDF. The programs to view the files are ubiquitous. Virtually every computer in an educational setting today can open and view them. This comfort level also means that there is little or no training needed for teachers and students to utilize a PDF file to teach and learn.

2. Equipment - Schools have the equipment to view PDFs. As mentioned earlier. It would be difficult to find a computer that can't read a PDF. This means that money for new equipment is not a problem.

3. Cost - PDFs can be created easily and inexpensively. While the professional level programs to create PDFs can be relatively expensive, there are options on most platforms to create them for free.

4. Fonts - PDFs accurately display and preserve the function and beauty of fonts. There are definitely times when plain text just doesn't cut it.

5. Pictures - PDFs do a great job of displaying pictures in color or black and white. A picture can be worth a thousand words. This is particularly true in the teaching and learning process. Sometimes, a picture is worth far more that a thousand words. It is nice to have a format that can handle text and pictures seamlessly.

6. Layout - all the richness of desktop publishing documents in a format that can be shared with anyone. As with pictures and fonts, there are times when the effort and talent used to layout a document needs to be preserved. A well designed document can focus attention and guide the flow of interaction.

7. External Links - bring the resources of the internet to any document. Being able to bring outside resources to a document can add breadth and depth to that may be critical in the instruction process.

8. Internal Links - quickly and easily navigate even complex documents. As documents grow in size, the ability to navigate and locate specific locations becomes more than just handy, it is a necessity.

9. Printing - PDFs can be printed when necessary. While in many cases, the ideal method for reading document would be from the computer screen, there are times when a printed copy is still the best way to interact with it. Worksheets and activities are good examples of documents that work best when printed.

10. Cross Platform - Windows, Mac, or Linux, it doesn't matter, it just works. Educators can use the equipment they already have to bring the flexibility and convenience of ebooks to the place of learning.
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