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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Nook Digital eReader - Downloads and Organizes School Textbooks

which was published in her school newspaper, The Talon, on February 28, 2011.

She is participating in a team project in her media awareness class in which students argue for or against spending fictional money on modern technology for the school. Here is her argument for Nooks, eReaders which allow students to download their textbooks. She has convinced me! 

Barnes & Noble NOOK ebook reader (WiFi + 3G)[B&W]NOOKcolor eBook Tablet

"21st century America is seeing the dawn of a technological revolution. With the onset of computers, cell phones, hybrid technology, and even wireless credit card processing, it is evident that technology is making its way into every sect of American life.

Such developments boast faster access, improved usability, connection to a wider range of information, and even “going green.” But while other institutions grow increasingly more “plugged in,” schools continue to use primitive tools like textbooks.

The Nook, an eReader device, has means to save students from literally and figuratively dragging behind as they lug textbooks to school in an increasingly technology based world.

'I think the focus in school investment should be in media and technology as soon as possible,' says John Brande, SHS Media Awareness teacher.

'Purchasing textbooks now is a complete waste of money. Every student should be making use of the Internet at all times in school.'

Modern technology seeks to expedite organization by consolidating other devices into one. A persistent issue many high school students have is being disorganized. When a student is assigned several separate reference books for each class, disorganization is an easy trap to fall into.

Disorganization makes misplacement easy and therefore makes referencing study materials a difficult and stressful task.

'At this point in my life, I am completely overwhelmed with textbooks,' says junior Bridgit Wald, who admits to being poorly organized.

'I am lucky if I can keep track of two of them, nevertheless the nine I have this year.'

Sophomore Ian Deutsch agrees with Bridgit. 'I’ve forgotten textbooks at school several times, once before a test in the subject,' said Deutsch. 'It is hard to keep track of them all.'

One 2GB Nook can store up to 1,500 books, magazines, or newspapers. The Nook makes disorganization of books and reference materials virtually impossible.

The Nook permits better organization with less effort. Currently, classroom time is spent to pass out books and assign book numbers to each student in a classroom.

However, a Nook-using student would be able to quickly download e-Books instantly to “My Library” via Wi-Fi. A student can further organize from there by choosing to create easy-access “shelves” to file e-Books by topic or school subject.

The sheer weight of transporting textbooks and binders is intense even for students with whom disorganization is not an issue.

Much concern has risen over heavy backpacks and it’s potential and harmful affects on students, many of whom have bodies that are still growing.

A Nook, regardless of whether it’s carrying 1 book or 1,000 books, weighs a mere 12.1 ounces, which is about the weight of an apple. Just one, the largest, of the three books required for use in SHS’s Advanced Placement US History course weighs about 88 ounces, which is nearly the weight of two watermelons.

'It’s lightweight; they weigh less than 15 ounces, so they’re pretty portable and easy to move around,' says Joe Dumas, the Nook Specialist at Barnes and Nobles Booksellers in Walpole.

Julie Fishman, a junior, agrees with Dumas. 'It’s a pain to have to carry around heavy books and textbooks to school,' Fishman says.

'I haven’t really used a Nook before, but I know it’s lightweight and it would be easier to only have one device for it all!'

The Nook includes a vast array of helpful usability features - foremost, accessibility. Like Deutsch said, a student depends on their books or textbooks to study, so students are limited to studying in areas that they are allowed to carry them or bring them.

By downloading the Nook App to an iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, or Blackberry, students can access their e-Books and study anywhere that has Wi-Fi.

Using the Nook application on such phones as the iPhone, one can highlight, create notes, and control text size as well as font and font color.

'Using a Nook has the same features as a book, just electronic,' says Dumas. 'It includes book marking, highlighting, and the screen zooms in and out.'

Nook’s display includes 16-level gray scale font with display and zoom capabilities that make font easier to read than a book or textbook.

The Nook’s extensive collection of over 2 million, ready to download e-Books and ability for pre-ordering new releases ensures access to updated material at all times.

Schoolbooks can become easily outdated but are replaced only every 5-6 years and textbooks even more rarely.

The Nook also has an extra-long battery life of up to 10 days without ever having to re-charge as well.

'I own a Nook and I love it,' said Adam Block. 'I have trouble reading small fonts, so the zoom feature is really helpful. The battery life is also really long.'

The NookColor also has a basic web browser. Students can check e-mail, send a note, or Google search using the touch screen keyboard. Using N highlight, a student can instantly look up a word with the Nook’s built in dictionary feature, sparing class disruption and student confusion.

Nook’s environmentally friendly aspect is another triumph over textbooks, each having the ability to save thousands of pages of paper.

'In the long run, I think that investing in a Reader would be worth it. Nooks save energy and paper. Plus you can’t tear them apart,' says SHS English teacher James Sanford.

'The environmentally friendly aspect is one of the most appealing features to me. It’s faster, easier, and saves the environment, so why not?' says junior Xander Bennett.

The Nook costs $149 and the NookColor costs $249. While the initial cost of purchasing Nooks may be daunting, e-Books are often about half the price of their book counterparts. 

More on organizing for school:

Getting Organized for School 2010 - Online Homework Help

Getting Organized for School 2010: Homework

Getting Organized for School 2010: Starting the Night Before