eReaders may help people with dyslexia

CNN reports: People with dyslexia may have an easier time reading on an eReader than using traditional paper, a new study published today in the journal PLOS One suggests. Researchers say the idea for the study came out of anecdotal reports they were hearing from dyslexics who said they never read for pleasure before smartphones and eReaders enabled them to start. “They said it was a much more comfortable experience,” said Jenny Thomason, a study author who worked at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education at the time. “We wanted to take a closer look.”

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Florida or Ghana, eReading innovators face the same challenges

Worldreader, an eReader nonprofit with a project in Ghana, and Clearwater High School in Florida, who also have an eReader project, have found they are facing many of the same challenges, reports ReadWriteWeb. The kids each group serves are radically different in income and expectations. But they are quite similar in character. The administrators of both projects have passed out Amazon Kindle eReaders to large groups of students with the intent of piquing interest in reading and providing a library’s worth of access. Among the biggest challenges shared by both? Kids are born hackers. When Susan Moody, the marketing honcho for Worldreader, and John Just, Pinella County School District’s Assistant Superintendent of MIS, compared notes, they found that a substantial minority of eReader users had replaced their official academic Kindle accounts with personal ones, allowing them to download off-canon literature. Adult-oriented, let’s say…

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Amazon launches ‘Kindle for the Web’

Amazon has unveiled a program that allows Kindle electronic books to be sampled in a web browser, AFP reports. “Kindle for the Web” is featured on the online retail giant’s web site, Amazon.com, and book samples can be embedded on other web sites or shared through Facebook and Twitter. Users can click on a “Read First Chapter Free” button on selected Amazon books, and a browser window opens featuring the sample chapter. The eBook also can be purchased directly from the browser. “With Kindle for the Web, it’s easier than ever for customers to sample Kindle books—there’s no downloading or installation required,” Amazon Kindle director Dorothy Nicholls said in a statement. “Kindle for the Web is also a great way for bloggers and authors to promote books on their web sites by letting visitors read a chapter without leaving their site.” Bloggers or web site owners who sign on to “Kindle for the Web” can earn referral fees from Amazon when customers buy books using the links on their web sites, Amazon said…

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Survey: Children like eBooks, parents not so much

 

A new report reveals that kids might read more if they had access to eReaders.
A new report reveals that kids might read more if they had access to eReaders.

 

Children and teens are ready to try eBooks, with some thinking that a bigger selection of electronic texts would make reading for fun even more fun, according to a new study. But a solid majority of parents aren’t planning to join the digital revolution.…Read More

iPad pilots launching in higher ed this fall

More than 100 Oklahoma State University students will test the iPad in the fall.
More than 100 Oklahoma State University students will test the iPad in the fall.

Educators say there’s a simple reason they believe the Apple iPad pilot programs coming to colleges and universities this fall will run smoother than previous trials with popular eReaders: the apps.

Sprawling research university campuses and rural community colleges alike will test the iPad in small groups when students return to school in August and September, evaluating how learning can be improved using a device that has proven popular among 20-somethings who were avid about Apple products even before the iPad was released in April.

University IT departments launched pilot programs for eReaders like the Amazon Kindle and Kindle DX in 2008 and 2009, but student and faculty surveys showed that traditional textbooks were preferred over the eReader devices.…Read More

Are standalone eBook readers doomed?

New research suggests that devices like the iPad, which let you read books and much more, are likely to dominate the market so fully that standalone eBook readers have little hope of hanging on to much market share, Yahoo! reports. eReaders are being assaulted on all sides by all manner of gadgetry: tablets, smart phones, and laptops large and small. As screens get bigger and crisper on all of the devices, the need for standalone reading devices inevitably will shrink, according to market research firm Informa Telecoms & Media—especially as online book purchasing markets develop and streamline into something easier to manage. After all, who wants to carry two devices when they can tote just one? Informa posits that 2014 will mark the high point of sales for standalone eReaders, peaking around 14 million devices. After that, “multipurpose devices” will pick up the slack, Informa predicts, though its analysts figure a niche will linger for low-cost readers that have no networking features and that consumers can treat less carefully than more expensive devices. Imagine, for example, gifts for children or devices to take on vacation: As with netbooks before them, they’d be no great loss if damaged or misplaced…

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