Schools in India Switching to E-Textbooks and E-Libraries

By: Kathryn Martorana

computerbook  E-books have been increasing in popularity over the last few years. E-textbooks have also been going up as well for college students across the United States. However, it seems that the idea of portable textbooks and other literature are slowly making their way into public schools. The Hindu, and Indian newspaper, is reporting that some school districts there are converting their physical textbooks to e-textbooks and online accessed material. Some are favoring these e-books over the traditional format, and are even looking at converting their entire school library to an e-library.The two main arguments for making the switch are less book load for students, and the ease of accessing materials at home and in the classroom.

Reading books and other material online, or on an e-reader, are a great benefit because you can carry around a multitude of them without heavy strain with backpack or bag, and you can have immediate access to multiple sources and titles. As a college student or working professional this is ideal because you can have access to all your textbooks, supplementary reading, and reference books without having to carry all of them. This helps when you need one source for one small bit in an entire paper, or for a specific instance on the job.

However, the idea of making e-textbooks for public education is starting to make a path for itself in the market. As The Hindu reports, schools in India have already started making this transition. They claim that it puts less of a book load on the students backpacks. Everyone who traveled sixth through twelfth grade knows that textbooks for classes are thick and heavy. We dreaded having homework in three or more classes a night that required the book, or even multiple nooks, and lugging home not only our personal things like notebooks, binders, pens and pencils, but then three or more heavy books home and then back again the next day. This puts great strain on the spine, especially for the younger children who’s bodies are not done growing and maturing.

bookbackpack(taken from article found on The Hindu)

The other concept for reducing book load for kids is the book load they have when traveling class to class.  The average travel time between classes is about five minutes. Imagine having your locker on the opposite side of the school from my your class that you have to run to and then run back across the school for your next class. Five minutes may not be enough, but the other option is to carry around multiple heavy books and other school items at the same time while running from class to class. Having e-textbooks and online materials helps to alleviate some of these issues.

Not only having these materials reduce backpack load and travel with books for students, but the article also points our that it makes access within the classroom easier. Smartboards are now very common in classrooms not only in the United States, but across the world. Having e-textbooks and online accessed material makes it so the children can read the material at home or wherever they have access to them, and then the teacher can pull up the same material at school. This helps so that children who forget their books are not lost in class, or have to share with a classmate, and makes the transition between subjects int he classroom faster and easier.

Original source material found at http://m.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/schools-begin-the-shift-to-ebooks/article7653361.ece

Amazon is Finally Getting Back to the Basics

By: Kathryn Martorana

For the love of books
For the love of books

One day my brother, who is seven years younger than me, asked what stuff he could find on Amazon. Being the amazing useless factoid factory I am, I went on a rant about how Amazon used to be all about books but now they seem to focus on finding lame collectables, discounted electronics and accessories, and kids toys. Today while perusing the internet I came across this gem, and even just after reading the title I let out what seemed to be a rather loud a mixture of a squeal and a snort.

Amazon is taking one giant step for publishing in their Kindle Scout platform. The program itself is geared for authors with original manuscripts that have not been previously published. It gives them a chance to present themselves to be published, by having samples of their work shown to the public, via the internet, who will vote as to which titles they want to see published and made into a book. What is new for the program, which launched not even a year ago in October 2014, is the chance to be read on a global scale.

Image from original article showing the titles already published by Kindlescout
Image from original article showing the titles already published by Kindlescout

Previously Kindle Scout was an English based only platform. Meaning they accepted and published not only submissions written in the English language, but ones that were from American authors only. Now the online giant is giving the change for publication to authors around the globe, provided they still submit their work written in the English language. This seems to take a new spin on the concepts of the literary agent and self publication.

This idea brings to question if literary agents will even be needed in the near future, as more companies are holding contests, and now Amazon seems to be dedicating an entire team to screening manuscripts submitted by the authors themselves. Here the author seems to self promote their work by taking it directly to the publisher, in this case Amazon.  Amazon also participates in self publication via the Kindle Store, see link below.

https://kdp.amazon.com/

Original content for this article found at: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/help?topicId=AP72QR5GUKEQS