EBooks. The “future of literature.” You either hate ‘em or you love ‘em. It seems this invention has divided the literary world in half, into those who do eBooks and those who don’t. But whatever your inclination toward this gadget may be, studies have shown that eBooks have a growing fan base and are becoming increasingly useful in terms of education!
Even traditional libraries are jumping on the eBook bandwagon. Over 1 million eBooks were checked out of libraries this year, an increase of 25% from last year. It seems the convenience of checking out an eBook online beats driving back and forth to the library to check out printed books.
Ginnie Cooper, the chief librarian of D.C. Public Libraries, spoke about the benefits of offering eBooks on the library websites. “It’s gotten more people reading one way or another. And I think the e-book format really appeals to a lot of folks. I see them on Metro, on airplanes, I love it.”
And the appeal doesn’t end there. EBooks are handy in the classroom as well. EBooks are becoming the go-to answer to budget cuts in schools. Just this past summer, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced a program to make California the first state in the nation to offer schools free, open-source digital textbooks for high school students.
“As California’s budget crisis continues we must find such innovative ways to save money and improve services,” said Schwarzenegger. “California was built on innovation, and I’m proud of our state’s continued leadership in developing education technology. This first-in-the-nation initiative will reduce education costs, help encourage collaboration among school districts and help ensure every California student has access to a world-class education.”
And how will students respond to eBooks in the classroom? That’s a question that Richard Bellaver of Ball State University answered quickly in his 2004 study. Bellaver gave 15 eBooks to a childcare center to find how students would respond to them and how the students retained information from eBooks vs. traditional books. Not only did the children show a great deal of interest in the eBooks but test scores comparing the two forms showed nearly identical results.
“From our study, we’ve learned that children like eBooks and that they are durable enough to go back and forth between home and school,” said Bellaver.
So are eBooks the way to get kids excited about reading? We certainly think so at Sylvan Dell! Just check out our homepage where you will find eBooks for each of our titles. You may not like the concept of eBooks replacing traditional books. Heck, you may not like them simply because you’re so tired of hearing about them. Regardless, who doesn’t like to see a child excited about reading? If you ask us, we love it. – by Diana Rowe, Public Relations Assistant