EBooks you have heard of them, and you may have an eBook reader. The eBook is changing the way we consume books. In the old days if you wanted to read a new book you either had to go to the library or the local bookstore. Some of the hassles of going to the bookstore are getting in the car trying to find the book you want, unless you know what you are looking for and then waiting in line to check out. This is not so with eBooks if you have a reader you can almost instantly have the new release from your favorite author. There are many options available; some of the most popular eBook readers are the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. These eBook readers use an E Ink technology so readers can have more of a natural reading experience. You can also use and iPad as an eBook reader but its popularity as an eBook reader hasn’t caught on much.
Surprisingly enough as much publicity you see with eBook readers only about 5% of the people in the U.S. have one. But, that is on the upswing. I believe when people become more use to this idea of reading from an eBook reader sales will go up. There is a market for this product and it is at the beginning of its cycle.
So how does this translate into the classroom? Well, I don’t see any school systems going out and buying all of its student’s eBook readers and putting their textbooks on them right away, but I do see some private schools possibly doing this in the future. Colleges would also be ones of the early adaptors as well. Public schools will be the last ones if ever they do this type of transition simply because of cost. On the other hand I would be interested to see how school libraries could use this in the future. Some of the ideas I have thought of are like this. Libraries could possibly check out an eBook reader with a certain amount of books on it, freeing up space for more books or other resources they might need. Having an eBook reader in a library opens the door for multiple copies of books to be on one reader. Thus making it useful to have multiple copies on more than one reader to meet the demand of some books i.e. the twilight saga, or what the new hit book series would be.
The future of the eBook in the classroom will save paper, and we know that will make a lot of people happy as well. But I think it could be more cost effective in the long run because one student would carry one device and have multiple text books on it. Wasn’t it a few years ago parents were complaining about their children’s backs hurting because of the load they had to carry in books? This could be a simple solution for that problem.
I know it could possibly be about 10 to 15 years before this catches on with public schools but I believe that the private sector could benefit from this technology fairly fast.