From the Preface:

This book is for students currently enrolled in a college or university and students thinking of enrolling. It is designed to be read online, although if you want to take the environmentally unsound approach of printing out a copy, I guess I cannot stop you. Many of us find it hard to break old habits, or to replace old habits with new habits.

Over the long run, you will likely gain considerable benefit by learning to be a fluent, online reader. Hardcopy books are not going to disappear during your lifetime or the lifetimes of your children and grandchildren. However, a rapidly increasing amount of the material being published throughout the world will mainly be available online.
[edit] Prerequisites for the Reader

The prerequisite computer knowledge assumed in this book includes some experience in using a word processor, email, a browser, and a Web search engine. The book is not specifically designed to increase your computer-based skills. Rather, it is designed to help you make decisions throughout your educational experiences—decisions that will help you to get a better education.

There is another prerequisite. It is that you have the mental maturity (a level of cognitive development and self-responsibility) to take a high level of responsibility for your own education. Important question: did you stop and reflect on what the term cognitive development means and whether you have a level of mental maturity that is up to the task of reading and learning from this book? If the expression cognitive development is not part of your working vocabulary, look it up on the Web. Take responsibility for your own education!
[edit] This Book Tells a Story About Change

Many years ago, you began the long process of becoming a fluent reader. If you are like most students, this was a rather difficult task, taking a number of years before you had a reasonable level of fluency at decoding squiggly marks on a page into meaningful patterns in your brain.

Eventually you began to read chapter books (books made up of a sequence of chapters) and you began to learn through the process of reading. The expectation is that typical students can begin to learn by reading by the end of 3rd grade and will be relatively good at it by the end of 6th or 7th grade.

Perhaps during this same time, you began to differentiate in your mind between storybooks and textbooks. A storybook tells a story and is fun to read. A textbook does not seem to tell a story, and most people don’t find textbooks particularly enjoyable to read. Not many people select a college textbook for their bedtime reading enjoyment!

During my professional career, I have written many scholarly, academic books. Although each tells a story, I am sure that most of my readers have considered the stories to be “dullsville,” and certainly not competitive with a well-written, exciting novel.

The book you are now reading tells a story about the rapidly changing world you live in, and the pursuit of a good education for responsible and successful life in this world.

This story is important to you and your future. As you read this book, think of yourself as the protagonist. Your decision to obtain a higher education is a decision to take charge of inventing your future. This future can take many paths.

Regardless of the paths you pursue in higher education, the world is going to change substantially during your lifetime. Much of this change will be due to changes in science, technology, medicine, environment, population, and other factors that you personally, all by yourself, have little control over.

What you can do is improve your levels of expertise:

* In learning to learn in various disciplines and across disciplines.
* In useable, applicable, knowledge and skills in areas deemed important by you and/or by others.
* In being a responsible adult and lifelong learner.
* In dealing with change and helping others deal with change.