Electronic textbooks (eBooks) are starting to make their presence felt in universities and high schools. These books come in many formats, readable on personal computers, specialized eBook readers, or even Palm personal digital assistants.

eBooks provide several potential benefits:

  1. Interactivity. Simple links within the text can provide definitions of key terms, transport readers to a web site that provides context and historical information, or even supply graphical images or sound. With some programs, students can add their own notes alongside the text.

  2. Distance learning. eBooks are a quick way to expand a curriculum. They support anytime, anywhere learning.

  3. Customization. In the future, eBooks will be easy for teachers to create. This will enable teachers to customize their course materials, even for high-schoolers. Customization can bring immediate cultural, political, and economic context to history and other subjects, for example.