Some thoughts on the current state of E-readers

“Almost six in ten college students prefer a digital format when reading books for fun (57%) or textbooks for class (58%), while one-third say that they prefer print. This is a reversal from last year, when more students preferred print over digital. This trend can be seen among high school seniors as well, and is mostly driven by an increase in the preference to use tablets for reading.” (http://www.pearsonfoundation.org/downloads/PF_Tablet_Survey_Summary_2012.pdf)

And “More than six in ten college students and high school seniors agree that tablets help students to study more efficiently (66% and 64%) and help students to perform better in classes (64% and 63%).” (http://www.pearsonfoundation.org/downloads/PF_Tablet_Survey_Summary_2012.pdf)

This is likely because “Students want to be able to utilize social media as they do their reading and research, and according to those surveyed by eBrary, they want their textbooks integrated with social tools.” (http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/11/why-arent-students-using-e-books/)

However, “While eReaders served as a tool to engage students positively during reading and to assist in the task of note taking, it did not necessarily contribute to the increase in comprehension gains.” (http://soar.wichita.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10057/3967/t11031_Poage.pdf?sequence=1)

“It may be that physical books are best when you want to study complex ideas and concepts that you wish to integrate deeply into your memory.” (http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/14/do-e-books-impair-memory/)

“e-Publications have made advances in the academic world; however e- readers do not yet fit seamlessly into the established chain of scholarly text- processing focusing on how readers use material during and after reading. Our tests revealed major deficiencies in these techniques.”
(http://arxiv.org/pdf/1205.1227.pdf)

So this could continue to change as e-readers are developed that are better able to address those deficiencies. For the moment e-readers are good for casual reading and more and more for social sharing while traditional print is still the medium of choice for more difficult reading and high retention.

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~ by severalfourmany on May 14, 2012.

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