[Athen] Fwd: E Book Reader question

Ron Stewart ron at ahead.org
Tue Feb 23 10:20:38 PST 2010

Here is the Princeton Article



-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Shelley Haven
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:18 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Fwd: E Book Reader question

Good article -- thanks. What is the source?

- Shelley

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant

On Feb 23, 2010, at 8:56 AM, Laurie Vasquez wrote:

> Here is a reference that came out today.


> Highlighting E-Readers

> February 23, 2010


> Even before Apple announced the iPad, higher-education technologists

> predicted that e-book readers were on the brink of becoming a common

> accessory among college students; last fall, two-thirds of campus CIOs

> said they believed e-readers would become an *important platform for

> instructional resources* within five years, according to the Campus

> Computing Project.


> Now, as several major universities finish analyzing data from pilot

> programs involving the latest version of the Amazon Kindle, officials

> are learning more about what students want out of their e-reader

> tablets. Generally, the colleges found that students missed some of

> the

> old-fashioned note-taking tools they enjoyed before. But they also

> noted

> that the shift had some key environmental benefits. Further, a

> minority

> of students embraced the Kindle fairly quickly as highly desirable for

> curricular use.

> If one clear consensus emerged from the studies that have been

> finalized at Princeton University, Case Western Reserve University and

> the University of Virginia*s Darden School of Business, it is this:

> For students who were given the Kindle DX and tried to use it for

> coursework, the inability to easily highlight text was the biggest

> lowlight of the experience.


> *Because it was difficult to take notes on the Kindle, because PDF

> documents could not be annotated or highlighted at all, and because it

> was hard to look at more than one document at once, the Kindle was

> occasionally a tool that was counter-productive to scholarship,*

> Princeton researchers wrote in a summary of their study, released

> Monday.


> *Many users thought that the addition of a touch screen and stylus

> would make for a much better device,* they wrote, noting that while

> the Kindle does allow students to digitally underline text, students

> did

> not like having to type corresponding margin notes on the device*s

> keypad.


> The students also wanted it to be easier to navigate among annotated

> pages, and wished there was some way to impose a coding system for

> annotations, similar to how some students use differently colored

> highlighters to organize their annotations in bound books.


> Indeed, highlighting and note-taking went hand in hand with another

> feature students on multiple campuses considered important:

> navigation.

> Students did not like being unable to have multiple texts open at the

> same time.


> *When using books as sources to write papers, navigation is extremely

> important,* wrote one Princeton student. *I usually take a lot of

> notes on the books/articles that I am planning to cite. And when

> writing, I just go back and forth.*


> Students whose curriculum requires them to organize information culled

> from many different sources are particularly concerned with being able

> to navigate multiple documents at once, said Michael Koenig,

> director of

> operations at Virginia*s Darden School of Business, which also ran a

> Kindle DX pilot program last fall. Students at Darden typically have

> to

> keep track of 125 different business cases in their first quarter

> alone,

> Koenig said, and the Kindle was not always up to the task.


> *At the point where you need to highlight and notate in a fairly

> high-paced classroom - to be able to move back and forth between

> business cases, class readings, your own notations, your own

> highlights,

> your own analysis - It*s just not as flexible or nimble as having your

> paper notes or your laptop right there,* he said, adding that the

> Kindle was *not quite ready for prime time.*


> Students at Case Western, in addition to grumbling about

> *implementation of underlining, annotation, and bookmarking,*

> found it disorienting that the Kindle did not mark texts by page

> numbers

> in the same way as their bound counterparts, which made it difficult

> for

> them to follow along in class when professors kept instructing

> students

> to turn to a particular page. Their most frequent complaint, according

> to a summary provided to Inside Higher Ed, was that they could not

> *flip* randomly through pages of a text - echoing the comments of

> some Princeton students who missed the ability to easily *skim*

> texts.


> Of course, there were students on each campus who took to the Kindle

> more strongly than others. Lev Gonick, the chief information officer

> at

> Case Western Reserve, referred to these more enthusiastic adopters as

> *power users,* and said they actually liked the annotation tools

> on the Kindle DX. Likewise, Koenig said some Darden students were

> savvy

> enough to successfully juggle the trappings of business school on

> their

> e-readers. *We had some of our tech-aggressive M.B.A.*s use it in

> the classroom successfully, and some even liked it for technical

> classes,* he said.


> But those students only comprised the top 15 percent or so of the

> Darden sample; most students fell in the next tier of users, who were

> not quite as comfortable navigating the device. That is to say, even

> if

> the device was *ready for prime time* after all, the vast majority

> of students were not keen to use it.


> Koenig did note that the very aspect of the Kindle that at times made

> it inferior to a series of texts spread out on a desk proved

> advantageous in other contexts - such as traveling. While keeping

> track

> of hundreds of texts, he explained, business students do a lot of

> traveling for internship and job interviews. Thus, being able to fit

> the

> equivalent of reams upon reams of study materials on a 10-ounce gadget

> is a boon for the scholar-on-the-go. *If I*m taking off Wednesday

> for Thursday and Friday interviews, I don*t need to go through four

> class binders on the plane in order to not fall behind,* he said.


> The Princeton researchers also pointed out the green angle: Students

> who used the Kindle for academic purposes printed out half as many

> assignments as those who didn*t.


> But generally, students were more apt to use their Kindles for

> recreational reading - for which they don*t have to worry about

> annotation - while sticking to dead-tree texts for schoolwork. Whereas

> 75 percent of Darden students said they would not recommend the Kindle

> for other aspiring M.B.A.*s, about 90 percent said they would

> recommend it to family and friends for casual reading. *So they*re

> confirming for Amazon what Amazon already knew,* Koenig said, *which

> is that they*ve created a very good consumer product.* Scholarly

> aid, not so much.


> Gonick, of Case Western Reserve, remained optimistic about the

> prospects of the e-reader in higher education.


> *Asking real students about their experiences with a first generation

> e-reader reminds me of my first Kaypro in 1983. I could imagine its

> transformational capabilities, I just couldn't experience it myself in

> the first generation product,* Gonick wrote in an e-mail.


> *Next generation smartpads [sic], including the iPad and the Edge

> from Entourage, are true multi-functional devices that to varying

> degrees carry forward the strengths of the Kindle DX while adding

> additional features,* he said. *I believe higher education

> represents an important market for smartpad manufacturers because of

> our

> demographic, market size, and trend setting nature of our service

> lines.

> Stay tuned, the fun has just begun.*




>>>> Prof Norm Coombs <norm.coombs at gmail.com> 2/22/2010 5:33 PM >>>

> Hi ATHEN experts!!

> I got this question about e-readers. I have no idea whether any of

> them

> are good enough for a school to buy or whether they are all real

> problems.

> Please answer Bonnie directly or, if you reply here, I'll forward it

> to

> her.

> Thanks

> Norm




>> Delivered-To: norm.coombs at gmail.com

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>> Bonnie_Robinson at umit.maine.edu designates as permitted

>> sender) smtp.mail=Bonnie_Robinson at umit.maine.edu

>> Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 12:58:18 -0500

>> Subject: E Book Reader question

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>> From: "Bonnie Robinson" <Bonnie_Robinson at umit.maine.edu>

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>> Hello Marisol and Norm,


>> I have taken a number of the EASI webinars and courses from you over

> the

>> past couple of years and I'm hoping you can help me with a question I


>> received from a colleague.


>> Our library is considering the purchase of e-book readers. They want

> to

>> be sure they look at all the options before a decision is made.


>> They feel that Kindle is a definite no and that, so far, the iPad is

>> getting good press from the point of view of accessibility. Do

>> either

> one

>> of you have any info on Nook (Barnes and Noble) or the Sony Ebook

> Reader?

>> Could you provide any thoughts

>> on which e-book readers would be good to purchase?


>> Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


>> Bonnie Robinson

>> University of Maine

>> Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies

>> 5717 Corbett Hall

>> Orono, ME 04469

>> 207-581-1084 ext. 1384

>> http://www.ccids.umaine.edu



> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

> Once you choose hope, anything's possible. Christopher Reeve


> Norman Coombs norm.coombs at gmail.com

> CEO EASI Equal Access to Software and Information

> phone (949) 855-4852 (NOTE pacific time zone)


> http://easi.cc/scholarship.htm



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