eBooks and Learners

I am not personally aware of anyone using eBooks in the classroom, nor do I know of educators that use eBooks with their students. Others have posted about research on learning with eBooks, so I won’t comment on that (here). So that leaves me in a bit of a quandry. Do eBooks have a place for learning in the near future?

I have a hard time coming to terms with the impact that ebooks will have on learning in public education. In general, I think we are a long ways away from any significant impact. I would guess 10 years or more. I see very few gains in using an eInk device in the classroom, along with many negatives. I think the novel market is already very saturated with used copies of Catcher in the Rye, and others. For textbooks, eInk is definitely not the way forward. Furthermore, for tablet based systems I don’t think we have a sustainable ecosystem that can do 1:1 support for computers that cost $600. For the EVM, I would say that eBooks will be a small niche market for many years to come. I think there is a chance the 21st Century Learning will eventually take hold such that school as we know it today will be drastically changed, and the cost of a tablet will be there for students. But that is a long ways away. No matter what pedagogy is developed, I don’t see any way around the budget issue on eBooks.

I see about the same number of computers in a classroom today that I saw in 1990. Based on this, I have no reason to believe that eBook devices will taken a sudden hold in schools.

Posted in: Week 06: eBooks