Whereas laptop initiatives increased 1:1, schools have increased their purchasing and using ebooks. The stringent limits on ebook lending levied by book publishers are a big reason for this.
Indeed, over the past decade, many trend-keepers have anticipated that ebooks would overshadow their counterparts in both the homes and schools, when they came up with Amazon’s Kindle and the Apple iPad. The library industry started planning for just such a revolt and certain seers declared that the book will end as we know it.
Currently, however, ebooks still account for 20% of the overall publishing market and their sales have increased. According to the School Library Journal 2018 survey data, school books continue to spend about 17 percent of their budget on ebooks (not including money for specific ebook collections offered by programs like Overdrive by their school districts).
Although it is likely that publishers would decide to work closely with libraries, sadly, this was not the case and ebooks for their employers. The ebook restrictions imposed by some publishers are still troubling public and school libraries. And a recent announcement by one of “Big 5” publishers, Macmillan has put a two-month ban on new ebook launches for libraries, further spoils their loan models and exacerbates an already thorny relationship.
To K-12 graduates, ebooks have several distinct advantages. While a lack of ebook readers, including tablets or laptops, remains a disincentive to the use of ebooks by students, more schools implement 1:1 laptops, and school libraries are continuing to buy student check-out readers from ebooks.
Education ebooks have advantages:
- Easy to navigate. Easy access. Students can download ebooks of their schools via Internet from anywhere.
- User friendliness and transportation. The convenience of carrying an electronic reading system filled with several books is a real advantage, not to mention lugging heavy textbooks. Therefore, students, particularly difficult readers, do not need to disclose what they are reading while carrying ebooks.
- Do not deteriorate physically. Ebooks are unlike physical books to absorb wear and tear.
- Adjusting font size. Students can vary the font size in ebooks, depending on their needs.
- Dictionary built-in. Clickable dictionaries help students to check an unfamiliar word immediately.
- Enhanced ebooks. Enhanced ebooks. Other ebook features for reticent and early readers, including videos and games, can be helpful.
- Free and public domain content available. Content. Free ebooks and the Open eBook initiative introduced by Michelle Obama for schools and libraries serving people with low incomes are available from some good sources.
- Fast information access. Students can quickly access information in e-books through hyperlinks and bookmarks, which is particularly useful for non-fiction texts.
Ebook issues for schools:
- Ebook application costs and uncertainty. E-books for libraries are distinct from downloads for one’s own personal uses and it remains difficult for many school librarians whose districts do not offer assistance to know which ebook platform is most cost-effectual and best suited for a specific goal— the whole class versus individual checkouts or two year leases versus in-perpetuity licences.
- Not sufficient read apps for ebooks. Although more schools have laptops running 1:1, and many students have their own computers, many schools tend to be worried about the exposure of students to e-book readers.
- Students are struggling to relate to the eBook. Students often have to juggle loud passwords and installation procedures when accessing schools ‘ ebook collections.
- Issues about ebooks for students. Many studies show that when reading electronic documents, the students ‘ understandings are declining and other studies show that they are likely to get distracted while reading apps connected to the Internet.
- Can not swap ebooks with friends. Students complain that ebooks can not be shared as easily as print books by friends and users.
When educators and students become more familiar with reading on equipment than books, the use of ebooks in schools will definitely continue to grow. Nevertheless, in order to further accept ebooks by libraries, publishers must stop imposing restrictive limitations on the processes of ebook printing and re-engage libraries as partners to encourage literacy.