written by: Lori Soard
• edited by: SForsyth
• updated: 1/5/2012
Using ebook readers in the classroom is one technology that makes perfect sense. The use of ebooks has grown in popularity over the past ten years, making textbooks on readers completely viable as an education option. This article explores some ways to implement this technology into any classroom.
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Types of E-Book Reading Devices
There are several e-book readers made especially for this purpose. Some of the most popular include:
Kindle - This is Amazon's reading device. It runs just over $200.00. They recently released the Kindle 2, with enhanced features.
Sony Reader - Another option for ebook reading devices. Comparable in price to the Kindle. Specifically targeted to schools.
Star E-Read - This one is very light weight, which makes it perfect to carry everywhere.
iRex - This manufacturer offers several versions, including the Bookworm, Versatile and Professional. Each offers different features, depending upon your needs.
Franklin eBookman - This company was one of the first to initially release an eBook reader years ago. They've simply improved the technology over the years. The many features this $340 range ebook reader offers will come in handy for instructional purposes.
These are a few of the more popular and reasonably priced models. There are many others available. For a nice table of e-book readers, where to purchase and what features they each provide, visit the wiki mobile read page.
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Reluctant Readers and eBooks
Ebook readers are an excellent way to get reluctant readers interested in reading. Kids today are completely plugged into technology. Any teacher, from first grade all the up to twelfth grade will tell you that kids love handheld video games, iPods, cell phones, computers and any other technological gadget. eBook readers are still fairly new to most youth and holding a neat new device in hand may just open up the student who would not be willing to hold a traditional print novel or textbook in hand. If your school district can't afford to put eBook reading devices into the hands of every student, try to get enough money in the budget to buy a couple for use in your classroom. However, there are other possibilities for using ebooks without the readers.
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Other Possibilities if You Can't Afford a Reader
Teachers work on very limited budgets. If you cannot afford an e-book reader for your classroom, there are some other options available.
Use the classroom computer to download electronic copies of books and let the students read them on screen in turns.
Go to the library or computer lab and have online reading time.
Purchase a used iPod Nano and download books to it. Allow students to take turns using the iPod.
Purchase a used Palm or other personal organization device that allows you to download documents, such as electronic books.
Another idea is to host some fundraising events to help your classroom purchase a few e-book readers. Be sure to get the fundraiser okay through your principle and school board. There are probably as many ways to come up with funding for the readers as there are types of readers. Use a little ingenuity and creativity and you're sure to gain the tools you need to keep the interest of even the most reluctant reader.