eReaders & eBooks in the Classroom

What am I going to do with an eReader in my classroom?!

Is your eReader reading you?

Usually our relationship with a book is intimate, solitary, and unless we share our thoughts about the book with a book club, friend, or no one usually the way in which we read books are pretty much immeasurable after we purchase, borrow, or checkout that book. The following article from the Wall Street Journal, “Your eBook is Reading You” (June 29, 2012) Read the full article using the link to access it.

Amongst all the other data that is collected about our daily lives, you can add your reading habits to that list, if you read on an eReader.

“But the rise of digital books has prompted a profound shift in the way we read, transforming the activity into something measurable and quasi-public.” Previously, publishers and authors really did not know who their customer’s were. Now they have a wealth of knowledge.

“The major new players in e-book publishing—Amazon, Apple and Google—can easily track how far readers are getting in books, how long they spend reading them and which search terms they use to find books.” Will this new knowledge help to make books more appealing or more mass-market appealing.

“…when the data showed that Nook readers routinely quit long works of nonfiction, the company began looking for ways to engage readers in nonfiction and long-form journalism. They decided to launch “Nook Snaps,” short works on topics ranging from weight loss and religion to the Occupy Wall Street movement.” I find this part of the article most interesting because it is delving into the idea of interactive/multi-media style books that many educators are looking into for their students. Also, Doesn’t the “Nook Snaps” sound a lot like chunking — which teachers do for many non-fiction passages for their students anyway.

Weigh in!

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Updating Policies to include eReaders

The librarians in our system had a meeting of the minds in February to update our existing library policies to include eReaders and eBooks (we called it digital content or whatever). Here is a DRAFT (not yet approved or anything! Wish it had, and don’t know status as of yet.) of the policy that our system librarians, bookkeeper, and assistant superintendent drafted at a very long meeting:

 

 

Appendix A – Draft Policy

Library Digital Collection Policy

The [Insert School System] Library Policy is being updated to include the development of the library’s digital collection. This digital collection includes but is not restricted to electronic reading (e-readers) devices, tablet computers, electronic books and resources.

The digital library collection will serve all Kindergarten through 12th grade students in all [Insert School System] Schools. The purpose of the development of the Digital Library Collection is to grant a diversified means of delivering information to our students with a variety of modalities, abilities, and learning styles. The digital library collection will enable students to read books in a variety of formats which include accessibility features such as large print, text-to-speech, and contrast capabilities. The content to be included but not limited to in the digital library collection will be e-format library books, textbooks, and other classroom or school documents.

When checked out from the library, the digital items may be checked out for a total of two (2) weeks, as the current library policy states for print items. The digital item may only be renewed one (1) and the digital item must be presented to the library to be renewed. If a digital item is overdue, the assessed fine will be $1.00 per day.

The digital item(s) borrowed must be returned in the same condition it was loaned to the patron. The patron understands he or she is responsible for damage or replacement fees at the original cost. The replacement and damage fees are based on the brand, model, and original cost of the digital item.  If the digital item is a kit that includes other items, the replacement or damage fees will include the additional items included in the kit.

The digital library collection is of optional use to students. At this time, it will not be required of a patron to use the digital collection. The digital collection is an optional and alternative to the traditional print-based delivery of information and materials to patrons.

 

 

Appendix B – Patron Digital Devices Usage Agreement

Patron Digital Devices Usage Agreement

[Insert School System Name]

I, as the patron, agree:

  1. The borrowing period for the digital device kit to include the following items device, USB cord/charging adapter is two (2) weeks.
    1. The patron may renew the digital device more one (1) time. (Total of 4 weeks loan) For renewal, the digital device kit must be presented to the librarian to be scanned for renewal.
    2. Upon return of the digital device kit, the librarian will inspect the condition of the digital device and assess many fees based on the payment schedule in the [Insert School System] Digital Library Collection policy.
    3. I will return the digital device kit loaned to me by [Insert School System] in the same condition it was loaned to me. If the e-reader device is lost, stolen, damaged while it is loaned to me, I understand I am responsible for overdue, damage, or replacement fees up to the original value of the device.
      1. The overdue fine on the digital device kit will be $1.00 for every day the item is overdue.
      2. Estimated Replacement Costs

i.     Nook – $100.00 – $300.00

ii.     Kindle – $100.00 – $200.00

iii.     Tablet Device – $100.00 – $500.00

iv.     Case – $25.00 – $50.00

v.     USB Cable/Power Cord – $15.00 – $30.00

vi.     Total Replacement Cost of digital device – $140.00 –  $500.00

  1. Any existing content on the digital device will not be deleted.

i.     If content is deleted, the student will be responsible for any charged involved in repurchasing the content.

  1. I will be the sole user of the e-reader during the loan period. I understand that if I allow another student to borrow, I will be responsible for any damages or fees in the event the e-reader is lost or damaged.
  2. I will not register the digital device with any other account or sync with a computer.
  3. I will not purchase content for the digital device without permission from the librarian.

By signing below, I agree that I have read and understand the above statements and I agree to abide by them.

Print Student Name: ______________________________________________

 

_________________________________________                                                                        _______________
Student Signature                                                                                                                                                Date

_________________________________________                                                                        ________________
Parent/Guardian Signature                                                                                                                              Date

 

 

Appendix C – Emerging Technologies/Electronic Devices Policy*

 

*This is included because the emerging technologies policy had already been adopted at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. I would definitely suggest the mobile technology policies be updated especially when you are wanting to deliver eBooks to eReaders your students own already.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES/ELECTRONIC DEVICES         8.64

 

The Pike County Schools System recognizes that the use of technology always requires attempts to balance the benefits against the possibilities of danger, security problems, and abuse. Rapid changes in technology and growth in the range of content available makes this a constant challenge. Thus, it is the intention of the Pike County School System that all technology resources be used in accordance with any and all school system policies and procedures as well as local, state and federal laws and/or guidelines governing the usage of technology and its component parts.

 

Personal technology-related devices that enhance classroom instruction such as, but not limited to laptops, iTouch/iPods/iPads, e-readers, cameras or other eDevices, etc. can be used on school grounds with the permission of the local school administration and the classroom teacher. Students should also have a signed permission form from their parent authorizing them to bring the technology to school. The student should take the technology to the designated teacher before school begins. These items are subject to all policies and procedures covered in the Pike County Schools Acceptable Usage Policy, Code of Conduct, Policy Manual, and other applicable published guidelines.

 

See Cell Phone Use Policy 8.63 for use of cell phones at school.

 

No technologies may be purchased, brought to campus, or used to access school system resources that interfere with or adversely affect functions or operations of school system technology resources/infrastructure. The user should not access local area network or wide area network resources that require authentication without the explicit permission of the technology staff. Public internet access is available for visiting devices and is subject to the conditions outlined in Pike County School’s technology policies and all other school system policies and guidelines, as well as local, state, and federal laws.

 

All personal electronic devices will adhere to the same technology protection measures (or “internet filters”) as school/school system devices to deny access to inappropriate information.

 

Any device that provides personal wireless internet services on school campuses is strictly prohibited.

 

To maintain network integrity and to insure that the network is being used responsibility, if any policy violation or inappropriate behavior is suspected, the Pike County Schools technology staff reserve the right to inspect any and all data, including data stored by individual users on individual school or personal devices. Users should be aware that activities may be monitored anytime without notice.

 

Any student or employee found in violation of this policy may be subject to suspension or other disciplinary action by the school administration and/or the Pike County Board of Education.

 

The school/school system is not responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of any electronic device brought to school or to a school event. The security of these devices is the sole responsibility of the student.

 

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: CODE OF ALABAMA

16-1-30

 

 

 

Appendix D – Textbooks Payment Schedule

Textbooks Payment Schedule

All the textbooks furnished free of charge to students shall remain the property of the State of Alabama and the Board. A receipt shall be signed by each student upon issuance of any textbooks by school officials. The parent, guardian, or other person having custody of the student to whom the textbooks are issued shall be held liable for any loss, abuse, or damage to state-owned textbooks.

Failure to pay the School System for a lost or damaged book will result in non-issuance of other textbooks. The amount of payment for loss or managed textbooks to the School System shall be determined by the following schedule:

1st Year Original Cost
2nd Year 75% of original cost
3rd year 50% of original cost
4th year 25% of original cost
5th year 25% of original cost

Reimbursement will be made to students who relocate textbooks after payment is made to the School System and upon presentation of payment receipt based on the four-year schedule shown above.

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How can eReaders help my students?

Here is a few thoughts as to why eReaders, eBooks, or digital texts/content can help your students:

Accommodations:

  • Text-to-speech capabilities
  • Large print
  • contrasting on eInk & backlit devices
Will eReaders excite students to read or read more? Probably not, but it might encourage those who do not like to read. It might excite those who are on the edge of liking and not liking to read. You never know.
Another perspective, from the library, some students read off-grade level and are embarrassed to get the correct leveled books because other students may make fun of them. On a digital device or computer, no classmate would know what he or she was reading just by the cover. It could help give that push of confidence. Who knows, but it’s worth a try, right?

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