Given that I have recently moved teaching in a high school to teaching in a primary school I have seen both ends of the spectrum. The high school I have recently been teaching in has had a huge push from the principal towards a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. Teachers have been rewarded for their use of technology in the classroom and the school library renamed “The E-Hub”. There have been positives and negatives from this approach. Positives include students actually bringing devices from home and being more enthusiastic when completing class work as it is on a medium they can enjoy. The negatives include students competing for who owns what device (costing their parents a lot of money) and students wasting time playing games or internet searching while they had work to do.
I have not seen a school own Kindles or other dedicated e-reader devices. What I have seen is students using iPads or other tablets. I have seen students purchase their novels from Amazon or Apple store onto their devices. This is mostly immersion reading books. (Shatzkin, 2013) I have not yet seen it for text books, but the word is that it is not too far away.
School libraries still lend out textbooks at the beginning of a teaching session. Students look after those texts and return them when instructed to by the teacher. Novels still seem to be popular. There is always that child who walks around with their novel in their hand for the moment that they can sneak it out to read in a class. A recent debate I saw in a high school library was whether or not to replace the school’s encyclopaedias. In my own experience there is always a couple of students who like to look up information from the encyclopaedias. An interesting topic.
In my new role in a primary school I have had a different experience. The school would like to move towards using more technology but are unsure as to how. For reading, the younger children seem to like the simplicity of paper books. There is an enjoyment that has not translated to devices. The school iPads are used more for apps than to research. I am yet to see students download books onto these devices or teachers use iPads already downloaded with a novel.
Shatzkin, M. (2013) The Shatzkin Files: The truth is that we do not yet know whether ebooks will work for anything except readerly books. Retrieved from http://www.idealog.com/blog/truth-do-not-yet-know-whether-ebooks-will-work-anything-except-readerly-books/