5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 12, 2010 11:32 AM by coxd

    eBook Resources

      eBooks have been the talk of the Web for years and then were picked up by educators. I haven't really seen any discussion as such of their value to us educators and our students in Engage that I have seen since I've been here, so I thought I'd toss this topic to this astute crowd to get your perspectives.


      eBooks are a great idea in my thinking. Since there are both free and commercial texts--both of varying quality--by the million, educators need to see what this tool and the different ways to read them can do for us. I have used Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page and the U of V Library http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/digitalcuration/etext.htmlas resources for literary classics (now in the public domain) and others of different genres for years for primary quotations/sources and figure plenty of others have as well.


      Richard Byrne has just published a list of seven sources for free ebooks in his blog http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2010/01/seven-places-to-find-free-ebooks.html, which is what made me think of ebooks as a topic worthy of discussion in Engage.


      How do you see ebooks as a tool today and in the future, and how could you use them as at least a textual supplement in your class, school, or district?

        • Re: eBook Resources

          Hello David


             I have always agreed that is a niche in education for ebooks to thrive. Ebooks provides up-to-date information along with cutting edge technology to engage the students with content. Many school districts big and small would benefit from the use of ebooks as a replacement for bound text. I think once  the best device to put in the hands of the students, is developed with can see this come alive.

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            • Re: eBook Resources

              Hey Frank:

              Your thought on the device is key, I believe, to the eventual adoption of ebooks; in fact, that is the biggest complaint I've heard besides socio-economic reasons, as in the poorest students being the least able to afford such a reader today. Also, I have read that some people with neurological problems cannot really access an LCD or other digital screen.

              • Re: eBook Resources

                Frank, I am amazed at how the price of eReaders has dropped.

              • Re: eBook Resources

                David, I have a real affection for my eBook Reader. I have the Barnes and Noble Nook. At first I thought it was just a frill, but I really do enjoy reading on it. Having so many reading materials available at any moment is amazing. Your post bought to my mind a story I heard on John Tesh's Intelligence for Life Radio Show. (I'm not a John Tesh fan, I put him in the Oprah and Diane Sawyer annoying category...no one could possibly know that much about so many things). But, he did have some interesting things to say about the future of 5 popular electronic devices. Including eBook readers.


                The following is from his website: http://www.tesh.com/ittrium/visit/A1x97x1y1xa5x1x76y1x243dx1x9by1x2442x1y5x1f431x5x1

                Did you know that some of the gadgets you use every day are headed for the scrap heap? Here are the top five devices on the fast track to extinction, according to Yahoo Technology.

                • Your digital camera. Judging by thetons of Facebook photos your friends upload every day, you might think that taking pictures is more popular than ever. It is, except most people are doing it with their smartphone’s built-in camera. Sales figures back it up. The digital camera industry experienced double digit growth until 2008, but last year, it grew less than 3%. Today’s phones have HD cameras and eight megapixels – the same or better than some handheld cameras.
                • Also, say farewell to videogame consoles. In2009, console sales dropped 14%, mostly because Apple and Microsoft are offering videogames you can download to your smartphone. So now, gamers can play air drums or Halo wherever they want, and are no longer tied to the console in their parents’ basement. 
                • Another gadget on the endangered species list: Personal GPS Navigation Devices. They’re also being replaced by smartphones, which let you email your friends and family your exact location, eliminating the “I’m 20 minutes away” phone call. Experts predict that by 2014,there will be 160-million more smart phones with GPS apps than hand-held GPS units.
                • The fourth gadget on the soon-to-be extinct list: Netbooks, the portable 10-inch mini-notebook computers popular before the iPad came out. With tablet computers and smart phones performing most netbook duties, most people don’t need them any more.
                • The final gadget about to be a goner: E-Readers. the device that lets you read books on the go. Again, more and more people are turning to their phones, using Amazon and Barnes & Noble e-reader applications,and pushing the e-reader closer to extinction.


                I have to agree with him on the E-Readers. Aps on cell phones do deliver the same services, and better yet so many students already have them.

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                  • Re: eBook Resources

                    Well, Tom, I have to agree that the cell phone has made a lot of handheld devices obsolete, and certain cell phones have it all over the others. Their evolution has been dramatic, with each generation offering a lot more bang for the buck. The Nook is sweet, no doubt, and my iPad is pretty sweet, too, but I tend to agree that cells will eventually sweep the market. Old eyes like mine though do like a larger reading area, so I also think gadgets like the Nook and iPad will be around a while longer for those with eyes like mine.