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The Future of Technology in Education and Replacement of Books with Tablets

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My essay envisages a future scenario in 2023, where E-books will eventually replace printed books. E- books have become increasingly popular among the young and the old since they are convenient and affordable. On a personal level, ten years ago, I would not have envisaged spending the entire academic year without studying from a paperback text. Now imagine you are a scholar and a researcher in 2023.

Its year 2023, I am a scholar and a researcher, and I do not have any inventory of books in my library, what could be the reason? Introduction I envisage that by 2023, E-books will eventually replace printed books. E-books have become increasingly popular among the young and the old since they are convenient and affordable. On a personal level, ten years ago, I would not have envisaged spending the entire academic year without studying from a paperback text. However, this year alone I entirely relied on E-books and digital literature to study my course. Today the book Media Today is available on tablets such as the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, and the Sony Reader, through which people download the electronic copies, which get charged to an online account.

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Timeline of the E-Book

It is fascinating to discover that the idea of the E-book is as old as the paperback book itself. The concept of the E-book could have started with a writer called Bob Brown, In 1930, he wrote an entire book on this invention and titled it “The Readies” He described his ideal future e-reader as: “A simple reading machine which one can carry or move around with, attach to any old electric light plug and read hundred-thousand-word novels in 10 minutes if I want to.” (SCHUESSLER, 2010) It would take another 40 years for this vision to become a reality. In 1971, Michael S. Hart launched Project Gutenberg and digitized the U.S. Declaration of Independence, becoming the first eBook in the world. (The History of eBooks from 1930’s, 2014)

In 1998, the first dedicated eBook readers were launched: Rocket EBook and Soft book. In 2004, Sony released its Sony Librie e-reader and then it’s Sony Reader in 2006. In 2005, Google begins scanning millions of books with the goal of offering electronic access and sale. In 2007, Amazon changed the world of reading forever with Amazon’s launch of the Kindle eBook reader in the U.S. and the launch of the iPhone by Apple. In 2009, Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook, and Sony linked with libraries via the Overdrive digital network to enable library patrons to borrow eBooks from their local library. (TUROW, 2014) Owing to the above trend it’s conceivable that the E-books will in the future entirely replace paper books?

Literature and Content in Media

Today The Media Today introduces its chapter about the Book industry with the following statement” If you were a book publishing executive, what would you do when faced with the following situation? You realize that, more and more, people are buying electronic versions of books to read on e-readers—that is, on tablets such as the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, and the Sony Reader, through which people download the electronic copies, which get charged to an online account”. (TUROW, 2014; SCHUESSLER, 2010)

This is the threat the E-Book has brought to the book industry which has been dominated for centuries by a printed publication like the paperback book. The big publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin USA, Hachette Book Group USA, HarperCollins, and Macmillan made money by selling its books to small independent bookstores e.g., Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million. However, in the past decades, there has been a significant change in how we acquire books and use them. Book users are shifting to buying books online because obviously, it’s cheaper than buying from a store and secondly, they are shifting to the electronic version of the books, sometimes called digital books or E-books.

The consequence of this shift is that many bookselling outlets in shopping malls or high streets have been going down under. The smarter ones have been opening a fully-fledged online store selling electronic versions of books. This has also compelled the biggest book publishers to produce books for the electronic market selling at a lower price than hard-copy versions. Jack Romanos, president of Simon & Schuster, one of the first traditional publishers argued that “the logic of electronic books is pretty hard to refute—we see it as an incremental increase in sales as a new form of books for adults and especially for the next generation of readers.” (TUROW, 2014)

Portable reading devices, which can be as simple as a standard ePub reader or as sophisticated as a tablet has made it possible for schools to deliver their course materials electronically to students, in United States schools started giving their students Apple iPads loaded with their textbooks instead of giving hard copies of the books. It has turned out cheaper for the schools and the parents because each year they get updates of the books more cheaply than before. (TUROW, 2014) Rita Bollig, The Managing Director of Bastei Entertainment in Germany says “Digital media offer a wide variety of opportunities to establish direct contact with the reader, and it is an essential function of a publishing house to listen and to discover through listening which products can give added value to customers who are interested in new possibilities for reading.” (Werner Ballhaus, 2014)

Case Study

My case study to support the case that the E-Books will eventually replace the paperback books is based on a report “E-Books on the Rise” which provides an overview of current developments and prospects of the e-book market in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The report was jointly published by PricewaterhouseCoopers & AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft PwC (Werner Ballhaus, 2014) The study discovered; that Germans, Belgians and the Dutch are now not only aware of e-books but for the most part also receptive to the new technology. In Germany, more than half of respondents read e- books either occasionally or regularly; and 53% stated that even though they will continue to read printed books, they will also give electronic books a try. On the other hand, less than 33% of the Belgians are familiar with digital books. In the Netherlands, about 60% of consumers have never purchased an e-book– nearly the same portion of respondents wants to try digital book versions. (Werner Ballhaus, 2014)

The introduction of Apple’s iPad has also made the E-books to become more appealing because Tablets and Smartphones offer more functions than e-readers and are thus a good option for casual readers resulting in a significant expansion in the potential audience for e-books in all three countries. During the past few years, the biggest book publishers have been active in creating books for the electronic market by placing titles for sale online at the same or a lower price than hard-copy versions. Public libraries have also had to change their systems to cope up with the digital world. Now it’s possible to borrow an e-book from your local library. The New York Public Library offers more than 88,000 e-book titles, using a service called Overdrive, a software company that manages digital lending for libraries. Patrons must install software on their devices in order to access the materials from the library. (TUROW, 2014)

Conclusion

The Book industry just like any other business has been affected by the advent of the Internet and more of us will shift to acquire knowledge, be entertained and informed via E-books. The benefits of the E-book set in very well with the mindset of the present-day consumer in many terms. For example, with the ‘green’ mentality growing stronger and stronger today we are very much environmentally aware in this age a switch to e-books will conserve paper to save trees and save money. This is in line with what a sustainable future requires us to change our habits and shifting from consuming environmentally destructive products.

Convenience for all consumers and students. E-readers allow individuals to acquire any book they would like at any time. Not only does an e-book cost considerably less to produce, it also allows independent publishers to produce and distribute their materials at fractional costs compared to traditional paper publishing. E-books are so accessible, they have become incredibly popular. Instead of having to go out to a store or order a book online and wait, you can buy and download an e-book immediately. Schools and student each year, buy costly textbooks on different subjects. However, e-books of all subjects from different grades can be read or studied using just one I-pad. Storage as a scholar, this directly speaks to my point in 2023, I will store thousands of books on a pocket- sized device, rather than fill my library with bookshelves. I can boast of having a portable library, I can travel with 1000 books in format of E-books. More social; The fact that I can like or share favourite quotes from E-books directly to the social media networks for my friends at the same time ask for book-recommendations and make comments on how I think about the books. Therefore, I end by stating I firmly believe the E-book is gradually going to phase out the old-style paper book because the benefits of owning the E-book over the paper book are far much better.

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