Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ereaders in the News

In the last few years many people have been discussing the potential for ereaders to transform education in America. Several people have written and researched extensively on the topic. This week I came across this article by Megan Street, Ten Ways to Read Without a Book. She opened the blog with a bold statement by Nicolas Negroponte, the founder of the One Laptop Per Child Initiative. Negroponte believes that by 2015 the printed book will be dead. Wow! What a radical, but very true statement with the technologies that are being developed in the print and publishing world today. Negroponte went on to explain that digital will replace physical books as the “dominant” way of reading. In fact, in July 2010, Kindle books outsold hardback books at amazon.com. Street’s article focuses on the ten ereaders or devices that will allow you to read without a book. I have heard of several of these devices but several were new to me. These devices or ereaders are becoming more and more affordable.

On the education front, many believe that as schools have more access to computers and other technologies, textbooks will become obsolete. Ereaders also have the ability to help students become better readers and writers. A study conducted at California Lutheran University showed an increase in students reading and writing skills during their two semester pilot program.

Ereaders and mobile devices have the potential to affect the way we read in the future. Actually, ereaders and mobile devices can affect the way we read NOW. What are the implications for the educational world? What are the implications for the publishing world?

Jeremy Rinkel