I’m really looking forward to Apple’s ‘Education Event’ coming up this week. Yes, I’m a moderate fanboy, but my interest is mostly piqued because I simply want to know how they’re seeking to dominate our education sphere. I don’t hear about too many Samsung 1:1 tablet roll outs. The sex appeal of Apple is already mesmerizing many districts and schools to delve into their budgets in a big way. Keep in mind that this is even with Apple doing very little to overtly target or customize their products for schools. What will happen once they properly lock their targets in?
DISCLAIMER: This is definitely not an ad for the Kobo. In no way is that product affiliated with me or this blogpost.
A few days ago, I was intrigued when I came across one of my student’s blogposts:
Ever since I was young, I did not really enjoy reading. Until I got my Kobo that is. A Kobo is a type of eReader. An eReader is an electronic way of reading many different books. Now that I’ve got it, I really enjoy reading. I do not know what it is, it is just that I prefer reading electronically. To me, it’s just more fun. If you have trouble reading maybe you could try using an eReader of some sort. It really helped me!
As someone who has taken a little while to understand the value of eReaders myself, I was so curious that one of my own student’s saw it as a literacy lifeline of sorts. I had to interview her.
Kim (not her real name) is a 12-year-old grade 7 student at my school. She comes from a suburban, middle-class family.
So Kim, when did you get your first eReader?
I just got it a couple of months ago.
Is it true that, before getting your Kobo, you didn’t consider yourself a reader?
Ya, that’s right.
Can you explain what you mean?
I didn’t enjoy reading. I would do it for school or if someone made me do it, but I would never choose to read just for myself.
So what’s changed?
I just like the fact that it’s digital. It’s more fun for me.
How much, and what, have you been reading since getting it?
I read a lot now. I have tonnes of books on it already. I’ve just finished a few series like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
Do you think you would have read them before getting your eReader?
Probably not. It takes me a long time to read, so I don’t think I would have stuck it out with a book.
Really?!? That’s fascinating. So are you reading faster than before?
No not really. I just find I worry about it less. Before, I used to think that I was a bad reader because I read slower than everyone else.
Is there something about not turning real pages that makes you worry about that less?
Ya totally. But I don’t know why [laughs].
Do you like the fact that you can put a bunch of books on your one device?
Ya, I love that. I used to have so much trouble carrying books around. And, besides, I just prefer things to be digital and electronic.
You also own an iPod Touch, right?
Why didn’t you just use the Kobo app on that? Why is it better on the device?
Well, it’s just not the same on the iPod. My eyes hurt when I read it on there. I squint more. It’s also hard to read outside. Plus, I get really distracted with my other apps on it.
What are some things you can do on your device that you use?
If you don’t know a word or something, you can search what it means while reading it. It helps me understand the book better. I also really like the way it tells me the percentage of how much I’ve read, and time it’s taking me to read, and my behaviour and stuff. I like being able to write notes too. It helps me go back and stay on track with my understanding.
So you’re reading more, understanding more, and enjoying the experience more?
Inspired by @ianchia and his two awesome girls, we’ve been making iBooks for our son Jackson because we’re so dissatisfied with what’s in the App Store. I’m sharing them with the world in a Google Docs collection. The collection will continually be added to, and you will also find instructions on how to do the terribly unintuitive syncing of ePubs onto your device of choice. Feel free to download our books if your kid is obsessed with ninjas too!