Paper vs. eBook readers:
How does technology make the difference in a dynamic world
Certainly I think there is nothing like the smell of a new book, the sound when turning the pages and the feeling of touching a sheet. But in a world so as dynamic as the one we are currently living in, the role tablets and ebook-readers have achieved is notable.
I always thought, and many of us do, that reading from a screen or ebook is uncomfortable. Possibly the first times it is, but for example at this moment, do you feel uncomfortable reading this? I think the discomfort is more psychological, a barrier that one feels at first to adapt, because in general, we are hard towards a any change. Anyway, I doubt that technology can far exceed the feeling and comfort of paper, but I think the benefit comes from somewhere else and that today is very important.
In this area, I think technology is very important and that ebook readers or tablets can be very efficient. Learning can be more dynamic. Today the information changes so quickly that the book may even be outdated at the time of publication. The way to learn could be much funnier for the young, the paradigm could be different.
For example, while learning a language, it would be really practical that the book could also include sound right there to help pronunciation, or even it could save us time by showing the meaning of a word and not having to look in a dictionary, by simply selecting it and the tablet displays it on another language along with its definition.
In geography, one could see all the maps, including images, videos, computer graphics, among many other dynamic content. It would be really different learning with a game where with a limited time for bringing on the map where each place is and the closer you get more points you got, and so it can create a competition among students, instead of memorizing country by country and city by city, to do .
Both in those, as in any other topic, technology could revolutionize everything. This brings other methods to transfer information through other channels, with multimedia content, which allows the reader a better understanding.
And yet we would be thinking of conventional books with minor changes and not breaking the paradigm of education that exists with traditional books. There’s an infinite number of options that one couldn’t have imagined. With tablets connected to the Internet, the teacher might know which students do (or not) their exercises, where the student may have any difficulty, view statistics of their progress and much more. This would ensure student’s study monitoring, with a closer method much more simple than before.
With this new technology, anyone can produce his/her book independently, earning revenue for the writer only, without having to share percentages with publishers and printers. Just as it happens with music, where there are artists who publish their compositions and sell them online, for example through iTunes, the books will be sold by their authors, without any editing companies.
Regarding magazines, there is a tendency that their information is published in blogs, which have a massive reach, even greater than the printed one. Also, costs are much lower, for the reader is generally free, and yet, one can get good incomes.
This does not mean publishers will disappear, but they should adapt to changes. Large companies like Apple, began working on this with free products such as iBooks Author’, based on technical tools to produce interactive books easily.
Another product of Apple is iTunesU, which is based on an online library of educational videos and texts. In addition, universities such as MIT have published in Youtube videos of many of their courses, sorted by topics. These are all new ways of learning without the need for a book, and in my opinion, in many cases they have better results.
Will printed books disappear?
The book may not completely disappear, nor did the vinyl discs or CDs, there are still fans who keep listening to them. But definitely, just as music is experimenting a tremendous growth in online downloads, so will books, books that will become dynamic, interactive.
Now I ask you a question, are your countries ready for this?