Hi there – I’m here, blogging live from ‘Engage’ – our teachers and educators workshop.
I’m currently sat in the midst of a discussion on ebooks and ereaders. Like it or not, it does look like ebooks are part of our learning future.
Here are some pros and cons of ebooks:-
Lots of places to find free etexts:
- Project Gutenberg
- Author portals
- Ebook repositories
- Library systems
- Great Writers Inspire!
Easy to manage your library:
- You can use Calibre http://calibre-ebook.com/ – free software that enables you to group and convert ebooks, so you can use it on different devices
Easy to cut and paste into word:
- You can add quotes to essays easily
Too many formats?:
- There are two different formats that ereaders use:
- Epub 2 (iPads, Sony)
- Mobile format (Kindles).
- We can also use PDFs (iPads, Kindles, …); but this format is quite fixed – you end up having to zoom, or move your cursor around.
No page numbers (in most ebooks):
- Hard to say ‘ok – let’s start on page 5’
- But if they’re searchable we can just get students to search for a certain line
Can’t always annotate:
- This is difficult for students who are studying a text
Don’t always know the edition:
- Ebooks lack the integrity of published copies
Other comments, issues, and thoughts about ebooks and teaching:
- ‘It’s great because you don’t have to search all over the internet – the ebooks are there’
- ‘You can have the ebook open whilst watching a podcast, or listening to a lecture’
- ‘About a third of undergraduates are using ebooks rather than paper texts in class’
- ‘School teachers still teach with hard copies of texts’
- ‘School students still use hard copies of texts in exams’
- ‘It would be great to have first folios online’
- ‘We don’t take English classes in IT rooms – but it’s likely that it won’t be long before we do’
- ‘ebooks are cheaper (once you’ve bought an ereader)’