Digital Libraries: Shifting the Landscape, by Glen Bull and Martha Sites, is an article that brings focus on the topic of digitizing books. Digitizing books basically means to have a digital, “electronic ink” version of a book on a device (such as the Kindle) rather than a physical, ink copy. This article makes the argument that because of the many advantages of digitized books and their fast-growing popularity, we may be looking at the beginning of the end of printed books.
One advantage mentioned is that digital copies of books have “equal-to-print readability and multidevice integration”– meaning that we can access the book from many different devices. (Bull & Sites, 2009) The article also mentioned something that I found to be pretty interesting: a device such as the Kindle has a built in speech option that reads a book aloud, which is used to help people with poor vision or help students focus by listening. I do not think I would encourage students to use this option, because I think that reading is an important activity for students. I do, however, think that digital books are going to be very prevalent in our future, especially within education. I mean, look at our class – all of our readings are online! No need to buy an expensive book that will be out of date by next semester when we can just read up to date, digital information! I think this will be catching on in elementary and high schools as well and I plan to use them in my classroom one day. It would allow my students to access their books from many different places without having to carry around a heavy book, and it also saves the school a lot of money because there is no need to purchase printed books that go out of date usually by the time they hit the classroom.
To summarize, this article highlights the growing use of digitized books in society today and predicts that printed books are on their way out. One great example related to education that the article mentioned was that University of Virginia is removing printed copies of 50,000 volumes from their library and will be accessing digitized copies from Google Books in order to create the “library of the future”. More and more schools will be doing this and I look forward to seeing what is to come in education with the use of technology.
Bull, G., & Sites, M. (2009). Digital libraries: Shifting the landscape. Learning and Leading with Technology , 37(1), 13-14. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/learn/publications/learning-and-leading/digital-edition-august-2011.aspx