Week 06: eBooks RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mcquaid 11:53 am on November 20, 2011
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    Tags: , , ,   

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/creators-canadian-designed-tablet-hope-bring-internet-entire-112507389.html Interesting venture-related article on a couple of Canadians hoping to get $60 tablets (running on $2/month limitless Internet plans that run on cellular networks) in the hands of the entire world. In a somewhat-related story, I was talking about augmented reality with a couple of musician friends of mine before a show yesterday (they […]

    Continue reading Tablets for several billion people… Posted in: Blog Café, Week 06: eBooks, Week 11: Mobiles
    • David William Price 7:21 pm on November 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Read up on what happened with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Project. It’s considered by some as a pretty massive failure because they didn’t budget for training people how to use the machines, or maintaining the machines, or providing necessary infrastructure for machines.

    • mcquaid 2:59 am on November 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’m familiar with the project – even used one of the devices once. I haven’t read much about its downfall, though – maybe when I’m done of this program and have some extra time!

      • kstooshnov 2:16 pm on November 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Stephen,

        There was quite a lot of reading on the OLPC for ETEC 510, one of the core courses in the MET program. You could even develop an Augmented Reality entry for the UBC Design Wiki, if you are interested in taking this course sometime soon.


  • kstooshnov 9:00 pm on October 16, 2011
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    Thank you to everyone for following our discussion and posting many of your thoughts, especially during this busy time with our first assignment due.  The eBook Team has gained a lot of insight into this emerging market, and thanks to you input we will updating the UBC wiki within a week for assignment 2. We […]

    Continue reading Closing the Book Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
  • Angela Novoa 8:56 am on October 16, 2011
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    I have seen some posts about Silent Reading and eBooks during this week. This remind me that this was good activity that is not so popular these days (at least in my context). Today I see my students every day less engaged with activities related to reading and writing. When I am revising assignments and […]

    Continue reading eBooks for silent reading Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • jenaca 10:20 am on October 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Angela,
      I really enjoyed reading through your post. I agree that students writing and reading skills may be a reflection on the lack of reading. Even for myself, I have found that I read way more now on my eReader, than I did with any normal book. I also agree that it stimulates my attention and motivates me to want to read more!

    • Angela Novoa 12:19 pm on October 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for your comments Jenaca! I really think that reading and writing skills are related.

  • khenry 7:20 am on October 16, 2011
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    From an educational perspective I find e-books very convenient interms of lowering costs and greater portability and flexibility in using a variety of texts within one sitting. I have a kindle e-reader and it is handy and convenient: less weight and bulk and offers me options for if I desire to read a different book.  […]

    Continue reading Ebooks – Convenient but easily forgotten Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Angela Novoa 8:20 am on October 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kerry-Ann,

      Last week a student presented a study she read about how eBooks and eReading has the effect that users do not retain for long time the information they read, reducing their capability of memorizing ideas. The study also suggested that maybe in the future we will not need such thing as long term memory because information would be available everywhere. I do agree with you that highlighting, making notes and comments helps to retain information. I have an iPad 2 and I can do all those thing through this device…and I am very satisfied by this experience. So, I am not sure anymore that the text on paper is what influence the reader’s experience. However, we are all different human beings who have different interests, likes, and might not feel the same way when using a particular device.


      • khenry 11:48 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Angela,
        I would support that research as I believe we process information differently now and really do not need to retain information as much as before but rather new skills of knowing how to find, access, use and manipulate information.
        I also believe that the ability to actively take notes while reading aids in memory retention.


    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 6:02 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Very nice you have an ereader Kerry and therefore you are able to confirm its advantages since you are a first hand user. I appreciate you sharing your view for future developments in the ebook venture to include more graphical and video technology. I am sure that at the pace at which technology is advancing, very soon there will be ereaders with those capabilities.


      • khenry 11:49 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you Keisha. I do believe that that will change as well and quite soon given competition and innovations in other devices such as the ipad2.


  • Deb Kim 9:59 am on October 15, 2011
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    Tags: , , silent reading, social experience, SR   

    We have silent reading time during the second period at my school. During that time, students must read a novel which is not studied in their English class. We don’t allow textbooks, newspaper, magazines, and manga/comics as they could be skimmed rather than read. ALso, it is “reading for pleasure”, so homework or studying would […]

    Continue reading eBooks for SR? Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
  • ifeoma 7:57 pm on October 14, 2011
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    http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6723753.html I found the above article interesting and inspiring. and so thought I would share it.   The author has made points and suggestions that got me thinking. I find that some of his suggestions already exist as standalone platforms or different technology but the common denominator is still the Internet which can be leveraged […]

    Continue reading A Vision for E-books, Ipads and all there is Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • David William Price 9:58 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good article. It pretty much mirrors my comments about integrating social notes into the reading experience.

      I think part of the problem is that many people with social anxiety bury themselves in books, and many people who direct their anxiety into interactions avoid the discomfort of spending time reading. Both sets of people would benefit from turning reading into a social experience.

    • Deb Kim 9:44 am on October 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the interesting article, Ifeoma. And good point, David.
      Collaboration among the sets of people you mentioned would be a good way to gain their social experience through eBook reading.


    • Karen Jones 11:06 am on October 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      This article caught my eye when I was researching a comment on Struggling Readers and Ebooks (Oct. 13), as well, Ifeoma. Lankes’s conclusions parallel the progression of other digital technologies that start by imitating the traditional non-digital formats, then move to incorporate social learning communities of Web 2.0. Now for a technology that personalizes the experience of reading – hello Web 3.0 e-readers!

  • Alice 4:07 pm on October 14, 2011
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    Tags: access, , libraries   

    How apropos – the Westender (a free Vancouver community newspaper) has just published – as their cover story – a piece on the impact of e-books on libraries. They interview a couple of librarians from the Vancouver Public Library, who rightly emphasize that (1) the library has to be wary of the digital divide, which […]

    Continue reading E-books and libraries covered in this week’s Westender Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 06: eBooks
    • Everton Walker 5:33 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Very interesting indeed and a must read when one considers the developing issues surrounding this issue. I also find the beyond books tagline to be appropriate. The ebook concept is really taking reading and access to information to a new level. My biggest concern however is to what extent the older generation will buy into the ebook concept.

  • kstooshnov 11:42 am on October 14, 2011
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    Tags: , , Kindle,   

    Thank you for taking part in the poll: Which handheld device would work best in the K-12 classroom? Kindle leads the way, catching 6/15 votes, and discussion on this topic shows that price and ease of use are two of the most attractive features, while on-line tools added to the latest version, Kindle Fire, make […]

    Continue reading Results of eReader poll Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Deb Giesbrecht 6:37 am on October 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the update on the poll. Definitely will help me on my quest for my own eReader!

  • themusicwoman 11:37 am on October 14, 2011
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    At school, we have 20 minutes twice a week devoted to BOB (Bring on the Books) which is basically silent reading. Usually, it’s 20 minutes of admonishing students to read rather than talk/fidget or listening to someone flip through a magazine or, heaven forbid, the dreaded sniffling of a runny nose! This year, I allowed […]

    Continue reading Yes, still reading in the tub . . . Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • kstooshnov 11:59 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great to hear about eReaders being used during silent reading, and no doubt you are one of the cool teachers students talk about, even if they are running the risk of having their electronics confiscated for texting (who could resist?). I’ve asked a few elementary classes I have subbed for whether they are allowed to use electronics to read, and the response was a puzzled “no”, mostly due to teachers who see these devices as tempting distractions. However, yesterday i got to see grade three students quietly reading on iPads in the hall, no doubt so that other with their paperbacks would not be distracted from their reading.

      Also, I heard a tip for how potentially to save a drowned electronic device: remove quickly from water and place in uncooked rice. The grains soak up most of the water, and once dried out the device should work. Of course, I’m not speaking from experience, and wouldn’t want to risk the damage or have to explain to my wife why so much rice was needed. 😉

    • Angela Novoa 12:31 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I remembered that in Elementary School we had an hour for reading. Today schools are missing these activities (at least in my country). I think that it is a wonderful activity for enhancing writing skills (knowledge about vocabulary). Plus, your permission to read through electronic devices motivates them to read. Great reflections!

    • David William Price 1:58 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      One of the problems I have with the concept of reading is you don’t know what “reading” is for someone. I can ask a client (when I was a lawyer) or a student (now I’m a teaching assistant) or a classmate if they read something. They say yes. But what did they get out of it? Sometimes nothing. I talked to classmates earlier this week about the trouble with reading large amounts of text. The point wasn’t to struggle through the text, but to identify concepts and be able to talk about them… reading becomes a productive activity that fuels interesting discussions, not just escapism for some or drudgery for others.

      Perhaps one of the potentials for e-readers is to include ways to help students process what they are reading. “In the reading, highlight something you agree with, something you disagree with.” Project it on a screen and explain why.

      Could projecting the text on a screen provide the student with a way to interact with the material with the class? Pointing at words, highlighting… perhaps even rewriting the text to show what it would look like in different styles, contexts, moods, etc. engaging with classmates in the process.

      Consider vacations. If I think about writing a vacation blog, I actively go out to find exciting things to write about for my friends. If I didn’t think about communicating with others, I might just spend my time soaking up sun on a beach. The same difference may lay in reading class.

      PS: Put your device into a Ziploc plastic bag for reading in the tub.

    • jenaca 2:06 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey David,
      I really enjoyed reading your post, especially the first section. When I was student teaching, I remember everyday for half an hour students would read silently…however, when I think back to myself in elementary school and when we “had” reading time, i could never focus. Reading was the last thing on my mind and I always had a hard time understanding what I was reading. So I’m not necessarily sure if I agree with this time for students, but I’m not exactly sure how else to promote reading and get students excited about books….maybe do a fun book fair, discuss different books, peer read…
      Thanks for the insight!

    • Allie 3:48 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Y’all’s responses have got me thinking… the larger pedagogical concern is communicating to students *why* they are engaged in some learning activity.

      In post-sec, one of the most difficult tasks – as I’m sure many of you are aware from experience – is ensuring that our students do their readings. I read a blog by a UBC Philsophy prof in which she was discussing this issue, and she remarked that one of the major reasons students avoid their readings is because they don’t know *why* they’re reading what they are reading. I nodded in agreement, remembering my student days. She suggested providing reading questions for the students to help orient them to the passages that are most relevant/important (in addition to more open ended reflection or application questions). She also suggested doing a lecture relevant to the reading *before* the students were assigned the reading – therefore they approached the reading with something to build from.

      I’ve employed these two strategies, and I think they work well; one semester, I had a TA whose role was to write these questions in advance, and we posted them on Vista. We called them guided reading questions. A fair number of the students downloaded them, and reported that it helped them identify the most relevant components of a reading for our class. In three hour classes that I’ve taught, I’ve re-jigged my lecture schedule so that I introduce a topic in the latter portion of a class, then the students go home and do the reading, and then we discuss it in the first part of the subsequent class. I think this has really helped students understand *why* they’re reading a given text, and the lecture gives them a jumping off point.

      In another course – an upper level course on anthro theory – I wrote out guided reading questions in advance and I also provided answers later on in the term. Particularly in a theory course, I found that students were much more likely to do the readings, and got much more out of them, when these questions were developed that were intended to support their reading. (Particularly in a theory course, I was also able to guide them, through these questions, to not worry too much about the really confusing passages that aren’t necessarily super vital.) I also employed this technique – technology? – because one of my primary learning objectives in that course was to teach the students how to really read dense, theory-driven academic texts.

      • David William Price 4:39 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Reading guide sheets are good when they’re done well. I like to see questions on the higher parts of Bloom’s taxonomy… the answers to those questions (evaluation, judgment, design) lead to interesting class discussions.

        It seems to me e-readers could be providing this kind of function with the ability to capture notes. Perhaps even just highlighting sections and relating them to guide sheet questions for reference later…

        • Allie 1:55 pm on October 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Good point David – I think that the kinds of questions (as for where on Bloom’s taxonomy they land) really depend on the level of the class v the readings they are doing, the level of the class itself, and whereabouts in the semester you are. When I design my courses, I keep the taxonomy in mind – earlier activities, assignments and assessments are more directed towards the lower levels, while later in the term, my assignments are geared towards a more synthetic understanding and their abilities to apply what we’ve learned.

          With readings, particularly early in term, I do like to lowball the guided questions a little bit, especially if we’re reading tough texts. I find that many of my undergraduates’ readings skills are lower than they may ideally be; they really need to be taught *how* to read academic texts, and that seldom seems to happen at the lower levels (1st and 2nd year). It’s a really tough skill to master – as your colleagues’ difficulty getting through large volumes of text indicates.

    • Everton Walker 5:42 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      This is terrific stuff! I am here envying you :). Sadly, we do not have that privilege with ebooks in our local libraries and reading centers. We have a similar concept in Jamaica to your BOB; which is DEAR (Drop Everything And Read). During this time everyone on the school’s campus should be reading independently. However, we have to do it with paperbacks. I cant wait to see similar sessions with ebooks.


    • Deb Kim 9:53 am on October 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      We also have silent reading time in the second period. I suggest my students not to read any newspaper or magazine, because they are noisy and could be skimmed rather than read. Also, I don’t allow them to bring comics/manga for the same reason.
      A few students wanted to read something on their iPhone, but I also didn’t let them use it for SR after I discovered that they were playing games rather than reading.
      How could you monitor if they are doing SR rather than something else if they use electronic devices such as iPhone, iPad, laptop, computer, etc.?


  • Doug Smith 9:47 pm on October 13, 2011
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    Tags: budget, , eInk, tablet   

    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 […]

    Continue reading eBooks and Learners Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • hall 2:21 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,

      I think eBooks will transform our educational institutions. I have used eBooks with my students both in Mathematics and Physics. The students normally find them useful and convenient. There are a few students who find it difficult to study from eBooks but the alternative is that they can print the various sections of the books that are needed.

      • Doug Smith 5:05 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I can see this happening in private or post-secondary education, but I don’t see it happening in the public system.

        I’m curious: what kind of devices do your students use to read eBooks on math and physics? Who paid for them? What titles do you use for physics – I am very interested in this! Our school somehow has no textbook for Physics 11.

    • bcourey 4:03 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      We have a Kindle project going on in 4 Grade 7/8 classrooms that have found very low engagement in reading by the adolescent boys. We purchased sets of 6 for each classroom and purchased several books from Amazon (each book can be downloaded to 6 Kindles) and are gathering data on the engagement of the boys with reading. We definitely see that the technology piqued their interest and the students (girls too, but not so much as boys) ask to use the Kindles regularly. 2-3 of the students in each class make regular use of the text to speech feature on the Kindle – they prefer this over the use of the audio books (on tape cassettes) that are also in the room – cooler to use the Kindle than the old technology. We are waiting to see if the novelty wears off and the reading time drops off…not sure yet. The same boys who are in their second year of Kindle use are still using them regularly – a few of them now have their own readers purchased by parents…interesting so far.

      • Doug Smith 5:03 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Regardless of the educational outcomes, are schools able to spend $100 per student on an eBook, along with purchasing new books that the departments already have in hardcopy? And even if some grants appear in special cases, what are the chances of getting another round of financing or grants once the eBooks break, become obsolete, or generally die? I just don’t see it happening. But then again, I’m not a finance guy!

    • Allie 12:39 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,

      I really appreciate that you are bringing a more sober account; I think it’s really crucial. Your comment re: increase in computers (or lack thereof) is interesting, and makes me think that a valuable study for us would be which technologies *have* gained traction in different educational marketplaces, and which haven’t. I say different marketplaces because post-sec – where my instructional experience lies – is quite different from K-12.

      Bcourey (my apologies, I don’t remember your proper first name!), I also think you’re right to point out that there’s a novelty factor that we need to be wary of.


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