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E-Book readers in academic personal knowledge management
Thaul W, Bleimann U, Wentzel C, Clarke NL
Plymouth e-Learning Conference 2010, Plymouth, UK, 08-09 April, 2010
Abstract only publication.

E-Books have been useful for decades. Unfortunately the lack of versatility limited the usage of existing portable e-Book devices to reading novels. Working with academic textbooks and readings is a different endeavour. It includes activities like highlighting sections, marking pages or paragraphs, or annotating passages. Students not only read the content, but work with the text by applying the information and extending it to manage their personal knowledge.
Manufactures were challenged to provide e-Book devices which could be applied in learning sectors and remain flexible enough to cater to individual learning methods and styles. The new generation of e-Book readers perform adequately well on such activities. Additional to that, main advantages are: carrying around less (alleviating back pain), saving money (by buying e-Books instead of paper books), saving one's eyes(by using e-Ink technology instead of common display technology) and allowing access to all books at all times. Beside this, there are several useful aspects students can use for their personal knowledge management: the possibility to search through their books, collections and notes, and the possibility to work with them all simultaneously on the computer. Timesaving features integrate the notebook, dictionaries, thesauruses, spelling and grammatical software which all cut down on workload. The student gets a technology for exactly what it is intended for, simplifying life.
Nevertheless, beside the positive aspects, there are still some questions to be answered (e.g. ownership of the content), problems to be solved (e.g. standard format, colour screens, better rendering, greater cost savings) and arrangements to be met (e.g. libraries should upgrade their content to electronic devices).

Thaul W, Bleimann U, Wentzel C, Clarke NL