Using Ebooks in Schools

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Ebooks in schools are being increasingly effective as a tool that doesn’t just sit in the library but in part of the practical learning process in the classroom. But first let us define an ebook. Simply put, an ebook is a book that can be read digitally on a computer screen or on an electronic tablet. It is, however, different from a ‘PDF version of the book.’ It has a number of interactive elements, like dictionaries and pronunciation guides. It can integrate video, audio, graphic, illustrations and even animations.

It can involve your students in the lesson and help them grapple with the concept that is being taught. Ebooks can be used in a group activity or individually. In group activities, ebooks help in the following ways:

  • The text encourages the students to interact with each other. It is said that the best learning always takes place when different brains work together. Discussions on the chosen text can help students break it down and explore it for what it really is. It can help them comprehend the concept properly.
  • Ebooks allow the user to highlight a certain passage and search for keywords in the passage. This helps in referencing important aspect of the passage that would otherwise be lost in the maze of words. Marking important segments of the text allows students to visit the passage again or use it to make a point in a discussion.
  • You, as a teacher, can also highlight or add comments and then share that ebook with the students. This possibility can help you guide students through the reading process.
  • The built-in dictionary and other additional features aid the students, helping them understand difficult words and phrases.
  • Some ebook devices allow Wi- Fi and make it possible for students to access websites through weblinks. Ebooks that have links to videos, and other activities online can make learning effective and interactive.

Ebooks can also be used by students for individual study, using the same tools as mentioned above to facilitate learning.

And finally, but the not the least, ebooks are simply fun for children and is a great way to keep motivation levels high.

In order to use an ebook, one simply requires a computer or reading device and internet access. Some of the popular reading devices that are designed to handle ebooks are Kindle, Kindle DX, Sony Daily Readers and Nook, Nook Color, KOBO, Astak EZ Reader, Astak EZ Reader Pocket Pro, COOLER-ER, Cybook, iRex Digital Reader, iLiad Book, Foxit eSlick, Jetbook and iPad. Ebooks can be purchased from many websites online and may even be available at some libraries in your area.

Ebooks are, however, a relatively new form of medium and is yet to pick up speed. This creates a number of potential problems.

  • Ebook are not as easily accessible as published books and, hence, we may struggle to find enough material to use in the classroom. Software to create your own ebooks is not yet freely and easily available.
  • Everyday maintenance of ebooks is a lot more difficult than managing and handling books. You need to ensure that they are charged properly and stored safety. Fixing a damaged ebook will cost you a lot more than fixing a damaged book.
  • Technology can often be unpredictable and it is essential to have a plan-B that you can implement, if technology chooses to betray you at a crucial juncture.

How can you use ebooks in your classroom?

From Professional Learning Board’s online continuing education course for teachers: Introduction to Technology for Teachers

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3 Responses to “Using Ebooks in Schools”
  1. Marcy Prager says:

    I think that the “interactiveness” of a child and a book is crucial to engagement and motivation – the keys to good literacy. When I read with individual students now, without an e-book, I keep my computer by my side to SHOW students images of people and animals in the text. I have thousands of “favorites” stored in YouTube to bring up for any number of topics I will present to students. Having an e-book has taken all my work and put it all in one place! E-books integrate the best of the visuals and text for students! Their world of knowledge comes alive. I am in awe of where technological education is going…


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  1. […] Board. (2015) Using eBooks in Schools [online]. USA: Professional Learning Board. Available: [accessed 12th November […]

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