An experiment to kindle interest in the Kindle e-reader was carried out at the Princeton University recently. Fifty students were selected for the experiment and textbook material for three of the courses that they were undergoing was transferred to the Kindle. The students were supposed to utilize only the Kindle for their classes. In two weeks time the kindle dwindled amongst all these 50 students.
The intentions were noble though. For it was seen as a measure to help lessen the burden of backpacks and to make it easy to access new books, while also being kind to mother nature and saving some money in the process.
That the idea didn’t quite get the start that was needed is a different matter altogether. Feedback study reveals that being a completely revolutionary new idea, this digitized form of the book will need some time for it to be adopted en masse by students, something that even academicians readily agree with. Students floundered with no page numbers, a normal accepted convention in textbooks. Professors too opined that for the students to really have a quality learning experience, its extremely important for them to get hands on with a textbook.
That said, there’s no way anyone can undermine the Kindle in its present Form. For instance, junior high school and high school students, who are encouraged to not to mark-up text and who are used to learning without resorting to marking up their texts can still benefit a lot from the current lot of Kindle. However, the same can’t be said of University students for whom, it is a must for the e-reader to have the facility to mark up text easily. A lot of relearning on the part of students is needed and the manufacturers to learn from the shortcomings that the student points out in the existing device. For instance, for the Kindle, or for that matter any similar device to gain acceptance among university students, what is needed is something that is more hands-on, something that is more interactive and navigable.
The path is yet long before we can shift completely to the e-book scenario in the academic circles too. Till then both students and developers have to learn from each other so that we get that perfect device to replace the text book. After all this is not a simple novel that one would be reading at leisure.
Developments in this scenario will surely find place here at our e-reader blog. You will also enjoy being at our e-reader forum that is brimming with all the latest happening around e-readers or e-books.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email