Monday, January 17, 2011

week 3 e-books

The only reading for this week is on the uses of e-books at higher learning institutes, mostly in India.  The author of the study claims that the use of e-books is very low at this point, much lower than e-magazines or e-newspapers.  Out of the students that the study included, many used the e-books mostly as a research aid, or some other academic pursuit.  The author claims that e-readers break down geographic barriers for those that use them, enabling the user to “borrow” books no matter their physical location.  However, much of the article is not about e-books being used, but about why they are not.  Many different reasons are given, but it mostly boils down to the incompatibility of one reader to another, one program to another or user refusing to adjust to new technology.
The main problem I have with this study is that it is very narrow.  They tried to have a wide study, but due to lack of response from the respondents, they ended up with a 1%-5% answer, less than 100 people all together.  In addition, this study seems to have concentrated on one university in a country far away from here.  I can only tell by looking at what my students bring to class everyday, but e-readers are very popular here.  I actually just bought my first kindle and it is supposed to be delivered tomorrow.  We are also adopting new textbooks at school this year and are thinking of using digital books rather than paper books for that reason-put technology in the hands of students and they may be more likely to use it.

Quote of the week “In total 101 questionnaires were completed, of which 16 were from staff (15.84%) and 85 from students (84.15%). The overall response rate was 2.94% (or 16/544) of faculty/staff and 5.07% (or 85/1676) of students.”

1 comment:

  1. I also think that it would be very hard to generalize the results of the study because of the small sample size. I would like to share my experience here. I worked at an ebook company in Korea as an intern about two years ago. I was working as an ebook content developer and the company was providing people ebooks through cell phones. In fact, when I started to work there, the whole concept of ebooks was very new to most of the people in Korea including me. But, I could see that, as time goes by, a growing number of people were giving attention to the ebook and more people were starting to read novels or magazine using their cell phones. Only a few months later, the company was making a lot of profits from providing ebook service. It is already two years ago; I believe that more people are reading ebooks today, and there more tools that people can download ebooks such as Kindel, Nook, iPad, or smartphones now. I believe that ebooks will be more common and popular in the near future.