eBook Readers and the Future of Education
After experiencing the Kindle, I was inspired by this technology to research it a bit more. This research got me wondering, what is the future going to look like with eBooks in it? I think that anyone who has studied the development of books over a semester like I have could tell you that eBooks will definitely be a major part of the future of communication. Will they replace physical books? As I have seen throughout the semester, none of the forms of communication are ever replaced, just reworked and developed. If you would like to read more about this development from me, my classmates, or critical authors, take a look at our blogs. The real question that needs to be answered, however, is how will eBooks have to develop to meet our needs?
One major way that they will have to develop in relationship to my own field of education, and I am sure in relationship to many other fields as well, is in the presentation of the texts. Right now, the Kindle, the Sony Readers, and the nook seem to have very basic features when it comes to the presentation aspects of their products. These areas include color, text and format issues, and reader capabilities that need to be addressed before they can be conducive to use with young children. If you are interested in reading more about these subjects, follow the links below.
Of course, these companies may not be especially concerned with offering products to this specific target market. However, if I were these companies, I would definitely begin to think about how to market my products to these target audiences. Also, the needs that I discussed are not necessarily needs of only educators and children, but may be very important to other groups. If I were Amazon, Sony, or Barnes and Noble, I would be thinking about these developments (as I am sure they are) before LeapFrog develops its own eBook reader that will appeal much more to parents and educators than these standardized and text-heavy eBook readers do.
Looking for more information about the eBook readers in the classroom? Check out these links.
“E-Books in Higher Education: Nearing the End of the Era of Hype?”—Although two years old, this article from Mark R. Nelson and EDUCAUSE has interesting ideas for educators, even if they are not post-secondary educators.
“3 Reasons eBook Readers Should Be a Part of Every Education”—This may be just a blog with personal opinions, but isn’t that what every blog is? Sevastian Winters has great reasons for included eBook Readers in the classroom.
“Amazon, eBooks, and Teaching Texts: Getting to the "Knowing How" of Reading Literature”—If you’re not crazy about non-fact based opinions, take a look at this essay by Barbara G. Pace from CITE (Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education). Although this essay is a bit older than the other two, it is scholarly and peer reviewed.
Use the technology yourself! Google “Education and eBook readers,” and you will find many opinions for and against their use in the classroom. You could even try them out like I did, see how you feel about it, and leave a comment here.