Tuesday, March 5, 2013

E-readers


To e-reader or book read, that is the question.

E-readers are amazing.  They are like personal electronic libraries, because they can hold so much reading material. Vacations use to be times when people packed a separate bag just for their reading materials.  Now a Kindle, Sony Book Reader or Nook, can carry your whole library – no bag required.

Most e-readers are small, about the size and weight of a paperback book (6 inches of reading space).  While traditional paper books can be bought or borrowed from libraries and or friends, e-books arrive on e-readers through an internet connection or cellular connection.

So why should educators be interested in e-readers? First of all it is one small device that can contain so many books! Students would not have to worry about making sure they grabbed a correct book, or carrying around a ten pound science book. Second, because the text is electronic, it can be searched, bookmarked, notes can be taken, words can be defined, some e-readers allow the text to be read out loud, comments to be shared and many have a new feature called X-ray.

Most people equate the term X-ray as medical method for “seeing” inside the body; to see beyond what it on the surface. The same principle is true of X-ray in an electronic book. X-ray highlights where the characters appear, important terms and reference information. X-ray allows the users to look for specific information on a page, chapter or the book as a whole. The X-ray feature assists the reader in making connections, such as correlations of events.

Educators assist students not only in learning content but also in learning how to make connects in terms of vocabulary, plot, historical perceptive and so on. With tools such as e-readers, students can have a host of reference materials at their fingers tips to lead them down a variety of paths. Making connections between history, science, the economy and other disciplines are essential in our global society. Our world is full of information, and e-readers can help students and educators sift through these enormous libraries, learning quicker and more efficiently.

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