Yesterday afternoon a very pleasant lady from the BBC came to the stand with a few rather interesting questions regarding ebook readers and the ‘epub’ format which requires casting out to a wider audience i.e. you guys.
Both Vik and I provided her with our opinions but I feel that it requires a bit more of a wider response independent of what we told her (which is why I’m not telling you what we have already said). So please help out with some constructive comment and no ranting please.
- Does your school have, or plan to purchase any form of ebook reader i.e. Kindle?
- Do you see a future and use for ebook readers in schools, and if not, why not?
- If you are to use e-publications how would you view them if not via an ebook reader?
Last edited by ZeroHour; 12th January 2012 at 11:45 AM.
2. It depends. As the Kindles stand at the moment no - they are too difficult to manage. Getting books to them is a hassle, using purchased books is too complicated to manage for a set of devices, they can't be 'locked down' to prevent fiddling and we have found they don't work well with enterprise networks (eg. no proxy support). If these issues could be solved, they would be great but as it stands there are too many hurdles. I don't have experience with non-Kindle e-readers so they may address these issues, but I suspect then suffer with the difficulty of finding content for them.
3. I can see e-publications being used on iPads and tablet devices in the future
2) Yes, but the management has to be there. Amazon (for example) don't have any corporate toolkit for Kindles the last time I asked. I was hoping to be able to sling DR docs on a couple of Kindles with some form of auto-update.
3) There isn't a good alternative to something like an e-Ink reader IF all you want to wander off to a quiet corner and read stuff. They're awesome, not glare-y, cheap, reasonably robust and the battery lasts forever. The problem is when "and it'd be cool if they could do X" rears it's ugly head and battery life nosedives, the price surges up and it all gets annoying.
So to conclude. Better corporate management tools for content, patching and config (open tools would be cool - can we get them to sync to an internal webserver / rsync / whatever?) at a free or reasonable price. Reinforced USB ports (Kindle, I'm looking at you).
Thanks everyone. Anymore responses?
We have some android tablets with the kindle app that are used quite well.
Better more useable alternative.
I would love to but i think they need more ability to be centrally managed (along with most tablets out there)
1. No but thought - if central management came out then yes probs 15-20
2. Yes as long as there is a management server type role which has all the content stored (effectively a huge library ). An Idea would be to have the ability to connect and borrow books (like the normal library) on an app which runs on ipad/android/windows which means they can borrow books like they would with physical ones.
3. if it was PDF type file. - they could be viewed on pretty much any device as they all support PDF in some form or another
1) Not in the traditional i.e kindle et al sense - or are you talking about software?
2) Not if you mean dedicated hardware - tablets offer this functionality, yes if you mean software.
3) HTML of via PC/Tablet with software ebook
We don't have any plans at present allthough a few members of staff have commented on the idea before, with the amazon cloud service it would be nice if it were possible to have a cloud admin account that school kindles could be allocated too and tracked.
As has been said the need to support proxies on school networks is a bit of a bugbear at the moment.
I like to idea of a student having all the textbooks they need on one device that has an easy to read screen.
We have a class set of iPAD's which we use in a crude sort of form as an e-Book for some documents.
I certainly see an eBook into the future being beneficial to education - not quite talking about a 'paperless office' but the amount of money spent on reprographics, purchasing new text books each time a course changes / is updated may be cost effective.
Management is certainly the biggest issue, and I think without a device for all you are limited to what you can do.
If their was some way (which I think I remember schools in american doing) of 'loaning' titles to the students devices as per borrowing a book from the school library this would prevent multiple copies of the books being spread across the school for book publishers, as well as the students electronically leaving book reviews etc like they can with most modern library systems. Students would then loan a book title for 7 days and at the end of the 7 days the book would return to the pool for another student to loan it if required.
Now I must admit, I buy the majority of books now for myself electronic I still feel theres a need for paper books in some circumstances and it will never replace a paper library completely.
1. Yes, hope to start feasibility study soon, main considerations will be ease of adding new books, preventing/controlling kids adding new books, handling every pupils' "bookmarks".
2. Yes, but only if the above (and other) requirements can be met. Don't think that at present any product ticks all the boxes.
3. PC app or app on tablets.
Will be looking at this exact question at BETT...
1. Does your school have, or plan to purchase any form of ebook reader i.e. Kindle?
We have just bought 3 kindles to use in our library
2. Do you see a future and use for ebook readers in schools, and if not, why not?
Only if companies such as amazon can provide management tools to manage the ebooks. Downloading a book 3 times is not ideal and the management of these devices is a major headache.
3. If you are to use e-publications how would you view them if not via an ebook reader?
Some form of tablet device such as an ipad.
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