Using E-readers in Education: Pros and Cons – Good e-Reader

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| Using E-readers in Education: Pros and Cons - Good e-Reader
Education is recording a huge success due to the fast-growing education technology. The traditional textbooks are being phased out by e-textbooks. Students today can carry textbooks for an entire course on their devices.
E-books have caused a rise in another type of technology – e-readers. The vast majority of newspapers and tech blogs consider an e-reader to encompass any device that is capable of reading ebooks. This can include the phone in your pocket, iPad, laptop or computer.  This can be confusing, since when the  same publications talk about the new Kindle or Nook, they call it an e-reader. Where do you draw the line? Basically, an e-reader is not a catch all device, it is a dedicated ebook reader that uses e-paper technology, giving you the closest experience to reading on real paper, but in digital form.
Encourages a habit of reading among students
Students love exploring with devices to find out what they can learn or benefit from them. An e-reader can open a wide variety of textbook formats, storybooks, magazines, and other types of texts. When a student is exposed to several hundreds of materials to read and is willing to explore, they develop a habit of reading. It positively affects their knowledge of educational issues and their performance improves.
Professional e-readers give you access to a large pool of libraries where you can read different types of literature. Using an e-reader, you can also access a large database of essays on professionalism when you need help with essay writing information. The essay in e-readers is a great source of inspiration for your writing to help you write essays that will earn you high grades. You will learn great lessons by reading widely on different types of e-texts such as textbooks, magazines, and essay examples.
Access to large e-book libraries
E-books eliminate the need for traditional textbooks that limit a student on the number of books they can carry. With traditional textbooks, a student can only access textbooks within their geographic location. When they need books from other regions, they have to undergo a high shipment cost.
E-readers give them direct access to large e-book libraries. They access any type of books, magazines, or other kinds of literature as they wish. Some e-readers can allow access to over 1,000 ebooks which gives students the freedom to explore books from different authors.
E-readers are easy to use
There is nothing complicated about using e-readers. When college student wants to learn a lesson from a hero story, they only need to power their gadget and connect online to download books.
After downloading the e-books they need, they store them in their e-reader and open the files anytime they want to read. They are like plug-and-play devices that do not require lengthy login processes to access. Some e-readers will open multiple text formats without having to convert file formats.
They are compact, portable devices
E-readers are compact devices that can be carried on the hand, pocket, or bag. Portability provides reading convenience to students. They don’t need to wait until they get to the library, class, or study room to read a story, a book, or research for their coursework.
They can flip pages for reading anytime from wherever they are. It doesn’t matter if they are commuting, resting in a park, or waiting for a bus, etc. Anytime can be the perfect time to read.
Traditional textbooks are expensive to own due to the cost of designing, printing, and shipping. Traditional booksellers must factor in these main costs and additional costs for storage plus profit. Some hardcopy textbooks cost over $100 which makes them hard to afford. After buying them, they require to be stored well in home libraries, drawers, books shelves, or bags.
A student only needs to buy one e-reader to access several hundreds of e-books for use in their academic course. Some e-libraries only require a subscription fee to access the books in them. The cost of books from e-book vendors is highly affordable. It can be many times cheaper compared to traditional books. Publishers eliminate the cost of printing and shipping which makes them highly affordable.
Different reading styles
It is easy to choose the reading style you want on e-readers. If the text is small, you only need to add text size to make it bigger. Some e-readers allow you to change the font color or type. If you find yourself straining to read on the e-reader, some have features that allow for audio reading.
The e-books are available in different file formats such as PDF, Kindle, Epub, etc. Sometimes all that you want is to search specific texts or words. With an e-reader, this is a simple action that takes seconds.
E-books protect the environment
Hardcopy books significantly contribute to educational success in a school or university, but they also contribute to the destruction of the environment. Papers are made from trees that have to be cut and shipped on a vehicle that runs on fossil fuels.
The papers must be manufactured in factories using chemicals that are dangerous to the environment and ecosystems. E-books do not require hard papers, cutting of trees, or shipment using fossil fuel engines. Publishers publish them online for access by students from any corner of the globe.
Cons of using e-readers in education
The screens can be smaller
The e-reader display screens are not always friendly. Depending on the size of the e-reader you acquire, the screen can be too limiting in terms of the text quantity that can be displayed. They are too tiny and only display a very small portion of text. They can make reading strenuous where a student must keep zooming in the texts to read.
Technology sometimes fails
The e-readers are programmed to work on certain codes. They are electronic devices that are bound to fail at one point or another. Sometimes the device will fail to work when a student needs it most. Their options are either to return to their traditional books, borrow an e-reader or buy another gadget.
The best e-readers require a good investment
The functionality and features of electronic devices are different and e-readers are not exceptional. The cheaper e-readers have fewer features, such as less internal storage, outdated screen technology and tend to have big bezels, examples include the entry level Kindle,  Kobo Nia or Tolino Shine. If you have a budget of $100 to $200, this is where you will get a great experience with the latest generation screen technology, more storage, a better processor and overall a huge step up in performance. Examples include the Kindle Paperwhite 11th Generation, Kobo Libra 2 or the Nook Glowlight 4.  If you are looking for a digital note taking device or an e-reader with color e-paper, which is the best for students, the sky is the limit.  You can spend between $300 and $1100 on something like the Kobo Sage, Kobo Elipsa, Fujitsu Quaderno A4/A5, Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color, or the Max Lumi.
Eye issues
Health experts warn about starring on screens for too long. Students might be tempted to stare at their gadgets for long hours. They will benefit from extended reading but it might permanently affect their eyes. Some students might suffer from poor vision while others might suffer from eye irritation which makes it hard for them to focus due to straining.
Limited lifespan
E-readers have a limited lifespan. Depending on its quality, some e-readers might serve as a student for only two years. The better ones might go for up to five years. A student requires to keep replacing e-readers often to continue accessing e-books. This is different from hardcopy books. If traditional books are given the best care, they can last for several decades.
They are prone to piracy
Books piracy is something authors around the world are trying harder to eliminate. Although there is some progress, the path is rough and piracy is happening daily. E-books pirates steal or buy a copy of a book they feel is quality.
They then make a few changes and sell them as their own. Most pirated books lose quality and the information they contain might be significantly misleading. They pose a danger to student grades because they will not have the right information during exams and pay to write paper writing.
The important titles might not be available
Before e-reader creators avail e-books on the gadgets, there are protocols they have to observe to avoid copyright battles. They must get permission from the authors and agree to their terms of use.
Authors also need to benefit from the earnings received as commissions. Some authors do not appreciate or allow their books to be availed on e-readers. This issue might limit the availability of the important books a student might be searching for.

Markus lives in San Francisco, California and is the video game and audio expert on Good e-Reader! He has a huge interest in new e-readers and tablets, and gaming.
Filed Under: e-Reader News


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