Many people are already in love with eBooks, downloading them to their Kindle or other eBook reader of choice, which makes for an extremely lightweight mobile library! In fact, eBooks could become an invaluable part of everyone's life, especially students. Imagine being a student where you could search your text books, copy and paste for your study notes or a term paper. The best part is that the technology is already available to do these tasks! It is now possible to have a library in every classroom or even in your pocket. There are programs schools can take advantage of with hundreds of eBooks at their disposal, and users of programs like these say the interaction is wonderful.
But, when thinking about eBooks and their place in the education system, there are issues limiting the rise of eBooks in our schools.
Copyright Fears. Publishers are very fearful of losing their royalties and credit, either through pirating or lack of proper documentation. However, you can’t stop the pirating of entire books by preventing a copy and paste function. This doesn’t stop people from copying portions of a book - it simply makes the process a more time-consuming one. Instead of fighting technology, publishers should embrace recent advancements and make their publications eBook-friendly. Through integration they improve their chance of being credited. And, if publishers think they will fight the eBook movement and win, they should take a look at what happened in the music industry when MP3s hit the market.
The eBook Sales and Rental Model. We have to understand that the majority of each print book sale pays for the marketing, distribution, etc., not the actual printing of the physical book itself. For the eBook industry to expand, it will have to think differently about what's driving revenue.
eBook Readers Are Costly. Apple's revolutionary iPad is an incredible mobile device, but expensive and may not be "durable" enough for a student. And while the price may be well worth the cost for some, for eBooks to take-off with late adaptors the readers need to become more affordable. We need the publishers and device manufacturers to strike a deal, so that this technology can be utilized by our schools. There must be a way for these companies to reduce pricing and still bring in revenue.
Currently, the Internet Public Library, which is an educational initiative from the University of Michigan’s School of Information, claims to have links to over 20,000 eBooks that can be read and downloaded for free. So you see, there is a large potential to change Education of our children.
Unfortunately, while eBook availability has been growing, awareness by teachers and use by students have not grown. But, it can become a reality in less time than you'd think. The electronic or digital “books” are available, the tools are in the schools and in the students’ homes, and it is time to start incorporating eBooks into education.