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  • mcquaid 10:50 am on October 13, 2011
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    Tags: ebooks   

    How effective are e-books? That depends on what you want them to be effective at, and whether they are a step up from something else. Are they effective teaching tools, or are they effective cost savers? A quick search of academic articles will easily give results for both sides. Some studies (Annand, 2008) show that […]

    Continue reading E-ffectiveness of e-books Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Everton Walker 5:24 pm on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I am not surprised about the impact ebook has on literacy development. I too saw a few reports where it impacted literacy positively. I also think it is more practical to measure literacy because of the features that are geared toward meaning and comprehension. It is with this in mind that I am planning on testing the waters for myself.


    • hall 2:30 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Mcquaid,

      I read Annand’s research report and was very impressed with the saving that the purchasing of eBooks brought the university. It would appear that eBooks are beneficial to publishers, teachers and students in terms of reduced cost. But I also think it is more convenient and flexible for teachers and students.

      • jenaca 2:01 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hey, I agree with your post. I believe that anyone who buys an ebook will benefit not only from a positive reading experience, but also save money, even with purchasing the ebook. Because there are so many different brands and costs on the market, people have several to choose from- expensive to inexpensive.

    • ifeoma 8:12 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Mcquaid,
      I like how you have categorised niche areas for the ebooks, It actually helps to analyse its pedagogical relevance and effectiveness by separating the possibilities. it is also help to identify reasons why institutions embrace learning technology- to save cost and to improve teaching or leaning capacity. Good ideas for an EVA to leverage for decision making.

  • Alice 10:19 am on October 13, 2011
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    Tags: ebooks, , self-publishing   

    It struck me last night that one really important topic we haven’t yet addressed – from a venture side – is self-publishing e-books. My understanding is that a number of prominent bloggers have self-published e-books, which they sell through their websites (payment is usually through paypal). Some of these authors, such as Chris Guillebeau who […]

    Continue reading Another facet of e-books: Self-publishing Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • kstooshnov 9:07 pm on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for bringing up this topic, Allie,

      One recent success story for the eBook format in publishing comes from the 2010 Giller Prize winner, The Sentimentalist by Johanna Skibsrud. Of course, it wasn’t intended to be the hottest selling electronic text, as the novel was originally handcrafted by a small town publisher, Gaspereau Press, could only release so many copies. When the novel was selected by the national literary award, big time publishing house Douglas & McIntyre stepped in, and eBook editions were the most convenient way to get this story into the hands of eager readers from sea to shining sea. One wrinkle in this story might be that if the story had been originally released as an eBook, it would not have been noticed by judges and the general population.

      It would also be good to consider how students could get in on the creation of eBooks. Perhaps there will be some students, as they become more familiar with the features of enhanced editions, whose writing takes off in this evolving format. And what better way to get the class involved with a writing project than to have peer reviews, similar to Goodread’s stars and comments, posted on-line. It would be more engaging than stapling together handwritten loose-leaf paper and pinning them to the school’s notice board. Being able to blog well is a more relevant skill than drawing an eye-catching title page, and will become more of a focus in 21st century classrooms.

    • jenaca 5:05 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Allie,
      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I didn’t really think such a thing was possible, but I think it would be a great way to get learners excited about writing and help motivate them! How neat would that be to create a classroom book online through this process!

    • Angela Novoa 12:18 pm on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hy Allie, as Jenaca I did not think about this issue. But it is relevant. It would be interesting to think about students and self-publishing. I think we would gain wonderful learning experiences.

  • Deb Kim 12:30 pm on October 12, 2011
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    Tags: , Classics, , ebooks, , , reader, Stanza   

    My first experience with an eBook would be when I installed apps called Stanza and Classics to my iPhone about 2 years ago.  Stanza is an app which you can download a selection of more than 50,000 contemporary books from its partner stores. It also allows you to download classics and recent works from Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, and other sources.       […]

    Continue reading My eBook Experience Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • schiong 3:51 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with your health issues. I guess we need to moderate the use of eBook (especially with children). Getting a pair of eyeglass is not cheap.

    • Deb Kim 9:54 am on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      @ Schiong: I agree with you. In addition to glasses, affording eBook or iPad is expensive as well. But, eyes also hurt when we read a book in the dark or watch TV. We might need glasses even though we don’t use eBook. Which one do you think is worth possessing more in the end? eBook or paper books?

      Many people like eBook for its convenience and portability. However, it’s more expensive than buying paper books. On the other hand, since my eBook, for example, has more than 50 000 novels, buying eBook is a lot cheaper than buying 50 000 paper books in the end.
      Not considering health issues (eyes), then eBook is very useful, isn’t it?


  • David William Price 11:55 am on October 12, 2011
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    Tags: , autodidact, cheating, critical reading, critical thinking, ebooks, experts, highlighting, notes, sharing, social media, worked examples   

      A TOWN WITHOUT BOOKS, WHERE NASA PRACTISED MOON LANDINGS My father grew up in a mining town with no trees and, as he claims, no books. He left as soon as he was able and found work cleaning telephones. By the time he retired, he was advising executives and working with professors from Harvard. […]

    Continue reading eBooks could be cheating done right! Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Allie 1:33 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      There’s obviously much in this essay to consider and respond to, but I’ll keep it to my top 4…
      1) I read your take as being very strongly pragmatic (read what we need in order to solve the particular task at hand). I can’t help but think of the contrasting issue to the execs you discuss who want to synopsis rather than reading the book – that is, the huge value some people place on displaying how well read they are – or how well read they want people to think they are. I think this is significant for our discussion of e-books this week because the materiality of hard copy books is not only personally but socially significant for many. In the museum studies course I teach, we talk a lot about how, as students, our bookshelves at home can be considered curated collections – and how we are using them to make visible, to ourselves and others, our identities and ambitions.
      2) Your comments on shearing down content reminded me of something significant a mentor once shared with me – it’s not what you know, it’s knowing where to find out what you need to know.
      3) The idea of social annotations sounds really interesting – but as with knowing where to look, I’d want to be picky about whose metadata (annotations and highlighted passages) I’d be using. I say this because most of my experience with metadata in the form of marginalia and highlights comes from academic library books – and at least in the UBC social science books, ‘outrage marginalia’ seems to be a hot genre! As for finding the socially sanctioned good stuff – at least in academic texts – I love the Web of Science search engine, as it tells you which pages of a given text are most often cited in peer-reviewed publications. Interestingly, and a bit hilariously, it’s often the first page!
      4) re: modular content. I’ve recently worked on a very large book composed of 30 distinct, and independently authored, chapters. From what I’ve learned from that experience, curation (careful selection, editing, and ordering) is paramount to ensure that the volume as a whole is cohesive. Something about applying the content management approach to publishing that concerns me is that the emphasis may land too heavily on the individual piece of content rather than on its relationships to other pieces in the broader work.

      • David William Price 1:46 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Wow, thank-you for sharing some great points.

        1. Good point about people “wearing” their books as a symbol of their erudition. I was just talking to someone about the over-valuing of symbols (judgments based on the wearing of a hijab, or a skirt that is too short) rather than the character of the person as demonstrated through their actions. My father amassed a huge library in his basement which obviously had a huge symbolic value. I actually felt a tremendous sensation of freedom when I downsized my home prior to moving to a new city. I gave away 100s of books. I’m happy with a growing set of summaries I can share and use. To me, books are intellectual consumables.

        2. “Knowing where to find vs. knowing”. Hm… I’m on both sides of this concept. On the one hand knowing where to look is important. On the other, having some judgment about the value of different sources means knowing some content. That’s why I prefer the notion of focusing on core concepts and defining mental models of those concepts in the form of job aids. The summaries, which could be analogized to hockey cards or baseball cards, I suppose, provide an easy way of trading in ideas and not getting too blinded by a particular expression of an idea in a particular book.

        3. You’re right that annotations will have different value based on who provides them. In one sense, Wikipedia shows the power of curated crowd-sourcing. That’s a definite possibility. Simply going with trend in highlights and comments is another path. A third way would be to tap into particular minds: how would Steve Jobs annotate a business book? How would that compare to Bill Gates?

        4. I take your point about the value of curating. I suppose I would say that your value as a curator is to consider the modules and work on the connective tissue that sequences them and teases out the patterns in them. The fact that you can work with modules actually gives you a lot more power in editing. Instead of facing a monolithic work, you can re-arrange modules for purposes of comparison, contrast, etc. One of my goals for my writing students is to make better use of outlines… breaking ideas down into chunks and playing with those chunks like a curator, using the outline as a simulation of the final work.

        I strongly believe that anxiety over reading and thinking comes from feeling overwhelmed by a perceived complexity. Cognitive load theory suggests we use chunking to assemble patterns and hierarchies for easier processing.

    • kstooshnov 9:05 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Very interesting point, David, about the circumstances in which your father lived and became an educated reader, just as executives and professors went the other way with their reading: less is more. I agree with Allie first point, in fact heard very similar ideas in the CBC podcast Doug posted, people like to show what they know (therefore more is more, one would assume).

      Thanks to Google and their scanning of a billion or so books, nobody has to read anything ever again, as we now have n-grams to tell us what can be found in decades’ worth of reading material: here’s the link: Google Ngrams Viewer. Gives us more time to get that perfect score on Angry Birds ;-P

  • mcquaid 2:31 pm on October 11, 2011
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    Tags: ebooks,   

    I would like to be able to talk about my experiences of using an eReader, but I can’t. The only time I have ever used an eReader or a tablet was a year ago, sitting next to a friend of mine at our annual teachers’ convention. He was reading something on his wee Archos one, […]

    Continue reading The Old Man and the e… Reader Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • Jim 5:55 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am with you, Stephen. I don’t have the time to read novels right now… Two MET courses, two daughters, one busy job, my wife just got a new job, and well, the list goes on. Like you, I am an avid reader on the computer and on my devices.

      I would argue that anything I read on my handheld devices, including my computer, is e-reading. I think the common parlance is that it must be either a handheld device or a marketed e-reader device. I would disagree.

      When I read my readings, and there a fair number, for ETEC 540 which I am taking along with 522, I read all the hyperlinked readings using my iPad; my codex textbooks are never far away either. But my iPad and my codex books are there together. The iPad certainly is closer to the form factor of my textbooks than my desktop PC.

      Just some thoughts…

      • mcquaid 7:58 am on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        E-Reading is an emerging and dynamic skill, isn’t it? The way we read now has so much more to it than it used to. It’s interesting to think what the next step(s) will be.

    • Karen Jones 6:31 pm on October 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think your approach to reading is much closer to the younger generation’s, Stephen, than that of an “old man”! I would guess that your comments would be echoed by the majority of my grade 9/10 students, and it is more a function of habits than reading ability. Kids today would be shocked if you told them they actually read a lot, but it’s in a more peripatetic style and in bite-sized pieces. Also, I’m not sure if you can consider checking one’s Facebook a reading experience. What do you think?

      • mcquaid 7:57 am on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Absolutely – I think my approach is pretty current, too. 😉

        I think checking Facebook would actually be a rather complex reading task / skill – there are different data / text streams to pick and differentiate from, pics and vids in addition to text, poor e-spelling to wade through… lots of different hurdles!

        Our new LA program from Nelson kind of leads into this whole “everything you take in is text” idea. Movies, music, books, posters… anything that gives information is text. The program focuses a lot on how students connect to whatever text they have in front of them. I hope it helps them see that just because they don’t like reading some large books that they’re not readers.

    • Deb Kim 1:45 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience with an eBook reader. Nice pictures you added here! 🙂

      I use my iPhone to save any pdf files, important documents, pictures, and videos, to read eBooks and the Bible, and to watch the movies.
      However, my parents still prefer to watch the movies on a bigger screen and read paper books/newspaper/magazines. It’s probably because they can’t read small fonts as their eyes hurt. But I don’t think that eBook is for younger generations. Of course it’s a new technology that was first introduced not so long ago. Nonetheless, I’ve seen older people on the bus in the library reading their eBooks. No matter how old a person is, I think eBook is a very useful technology tool for many people.


    • jarvise 2:43 pm on October 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You had me at “the old man and the e”. lol.

      Good points, too. I think the move towards a multi-use device is inevitable, especially at this price point.


  • bcourey 1:34 pm on October 11, 2011
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    Tags: ebooks   

    I have had a Sony e-reader for 3 years now and I had quite a difficult decision to make when I purchased it – but the touch screen won me over (of course, others have that feature now!)  I didn’t want a glare on the screen, I wanted to be able to copy and paste […]

    Continue reading e-Books and Poolside! Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
    • jenaca 1:45 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Brenda,
      My story is quite similar to yours. I recently bought a Kobo, which was definitely a big step for me because I love real books-holding the book, turning the pages, the smell….I ended up buying a Kobo because I’m living over in Europe and it can be very expensive bringing books over for the weight and is especially difficult to find books that I am interested in reading. Needless to say, It is one of the best investments I have ever made! I use it all the time and bring it with me everywhere! I love how it is small it is and how I am able to access my email on it- I have not yet tried to ePub as I was told I have to be in Canada to do so. Hopefully I can try that soon:)

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 6:29 am on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Brenda and Jenaca,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your views are similar since you both wanted to take books with you to different parts of the worlds and the ebook saved you by providing a light weight option to store all of those books. This is an outstanding benefit of ebooks. They take up less space. You practically don’t need any space to store them. You don’t need a library or a room for them. You can store hundreds and thousands of ebooks in your computer and hence you can take them anywhere in the world with you.


    • Deb Kim 12:41 pm on October 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I absolutely agree with you that paper books take up so much space, especially when you want to carry them around. That’s why eBook works better. It should cost less eventually compared to buying books. We can also borrow books from library, but how many people would have time to go to the library to check out and return books? If you consider gas for driving to and from the library, it’d cost about the same as purchasing a eBook reader in the end.

      I use my iPhone to read books and watch movies. It took a bit of time to get my eyes adjusted to the tiny screen, but I love it now since I’m used to the small screen and fonts. However, older people like my mom and dad didn’t like the experience watching movies or reading books on the iPhone because they couldn’t really read small fonts.

      I recently canceled the order of a laptop that I purchased, so I want to buy an eBook reader instead. iPad may be a good idea too.
      Any suggestions?


  • kstooshnov 9:00 pm on October 10, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: ebooks, Emerging Market Analysis,   

    The eBook Emerging Market Team are pleased to present our findings on the electronic book.  Two resources we would like to connect our classmates with are the Redefining Reading WordPress blog and the UBC wiki page we created. We have a couple of activities and discussion questions posted at these locations, but please feel free […]

    Continue reading Welcome to the Realm of eBooks! Posted in: Week 06: eBooks
  • andrea 9:17 pm on September 14, 2011
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    Tags: ebooks, , ,   

    I reviewed the Horizon Report created by the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The Horizon report’s specified audience is “higher education” but their predictions could be applied to a range of scenarios. (For example, game-based learning is used in corporate learning, and learning analytics is used in projects like School of One for […]

    Continue reading What’s on the Horizon? Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • schiong 10:57 am on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi ,

      I find multimedia very useful in teaching concepts (computer, programming, math, science, etc).
      When I was in college long long time ago, I had difficult time memorizing and understanding the OSI layers. Then our instructor decided to let us watch a movie … It was a 3D animation explaining how the OSI layer works. hahaha .. Then, I was able to get it.

      • andrea 7:34 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Stephen, I definitely see the value of multimedia for teaching as well. I guess that embedding videos directly into a text not only helps illustrate new concepts but also provides for a cohesive learner experience. My thinking in this question was around whether or not that’s really a *new* thing for ed tech, or just a slightly different format of what web and lots of online courses already did. However, writing a book and including multimedia resources would be different than creating a course… so perhaps I’ve answered my own question here 🙂

    • verenanz 12:14 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea…

      About e-books – They haven’t really appealed to me personally primarily because I have an Iphone and the text is so small….but also because when I tried to download the software, in order to have access to e-books through the public library…I could not distinguish between which software was needed for some, and other software for others…

      Right now…e-books are too complicated for me…

      Kids: Well my kids are in primary school.and they only like interactive, visually appealing e-books. Anything that looks like a book – is a book to them. E-book or not, they don’t distinguish.

      So…until the software becomes easier…until I have access to an Ipad and until the books are more visually interactive….I will look at alternatives.

      I agree that everything changes at such a rapid rate that I could be wrong….How exciting that would be!


      • kstooshnov 10:48 am on September 16, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Verena,

        I found an interesting post on eBooks’ potential from British author Nick Hornby, written a few years ago (before iPads were on the market, hence his comment about Apple’s disinterest and why eBooks remain uncool) that are similar to your, and many other’s, concerns over this technology.


        • andrea 10:46 pm on September 17, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Thanks for the link, Kyle. I found his assertion that “Book-lovers are always late adaptors, and generally suspicious of new technology” interesting.

    • Everton Walker 12:40 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Multimedia is definitely the way to go in the modern classroom at all levels. I do rate the ebook concept highly as it allows one to move around with virtual libraries and databases of information. Everything is going at a fast pace in the modern world and persons need information on the go. The patience doesn’t exist anymore to sit in a library for hours to acquire information from texts. The major drawback is that only a chosen few really have access to this technology. Developing and underdeveloped countries are always playing catch up to developed countries and may finally catch up with the ebook frenzy in the distant future.

      • andrea 7:29 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Everton, good point about being able to access virtual libraries and databases as part of the ebook experience. I can definitely see the value that provides.

    • bcourey 4:05 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am an e-book converter..all it took was a surcharge on my luggage weight when I travelled with so many books on my vacations. All I take now is my wee little Sony ereader with my ebooks loaded and I am a happy beach-bum! I am finding our students are really taking to some of their e-text books too..one of our secondary departments is giving it a go and the students prefer their lighter book bags!

      • Doug Smith 9:13 pm on September 17, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Your experience parallels mine very closely. My main impetus for getting an ereader was for taking on trips. There is nothing like lugging around three large and bulky books and finishing them all before you get home again. I also bought a Sony reader, the PRS-300. I love the size and that I can carry it in many (not all) of my pockets.

        I believe that eBooks are outselling regular books in the publishing business. Like it or not, the ebook is transforming education right now. Even in its most generic manifestation, such as a direct copy of a textbook, the ebook offers advantages in areas such as storage, depreciation and mobility. Access to the devices required to use ebooks will be the limiting factor in their use.

    • khenry 2:38 pm on September 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am relatively new to using e-books but am already a fan like from the ease of portability as many of you already cited.
      One of my desires, like Verenanz’s children is for a more interactive experience. This is an area I would like to see developed.

  • kstooshnov 10:31 am on September 13, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , ebooks,   

    It is a beautiful thing, seeing text evolve from print to PDF to Web version, and the New Media Consortium played a large part in upping the ante while presenting these appealing predictions.  The fact that users can download this report in other languages such as German and Japanese, with an (even riskier) option to […]

    Continue reading New Media consorts on Horizon Report Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
  • Karen Jones 9:51 am on September 13, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , ebooks, , , higher education, , ,   

    To the average educator, the pace at which new technologies appear may be overwhelming. The 2011 Horizons report has narrowed down the number of technologies judged most likely to impact teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education over the next 4 years, from a list of 50 to a more manageable top 6. SUMMARY […]

    Continue reading NMC 2011 Horizons Report: A critical analysis Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • kstooshnov 5:23 pm on September 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      I’d be interested to hear which of the technologies make the cut in your pro-d presentation, and if possible, bring these ideas to your North Van home for the teachers there. NMC’s Web version is amazing, isn’t it?!


    • bcourey 5:38 pm on September 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I too appreciate the breadth of the Horizon report (but like the Navigator even more now that I have explored the site) and we have used it in our department planning meetings when selecting what tools we would include in our blended learning projects. I will definitely look for the K-12 edition you are referring too. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Everton Walker 8:44 pm on September 13, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Karen Jones,

      Interesting report. However, do you think the 6 selected technologies with be significant globally or just in a few locations? Even though it qualitatively done, I would really like to see some stats to get a better understanding of what actually took place and reasons for decision taken.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:24 am on September 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      It is interesting that they focus on higher education versus K-12. Wondering if that is a more economically viable environment? or is that where many of the technological changes are seen?

    • Angela Novoa 9:18 am on September 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb, I was wondering the same thing. I posted a critique about ELI’s 7 Things you should know about… and I had the same sense….
      Karen, About your ideas, I also read the NMC report and two things that kept my attention was that they specified who were behind this report and that its focus is global.


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