Monday, February 13, 2012

Tablet vs. eReader

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the merits of purchasing tablets as opposed to e-readers.  Many of tablets such as the iPad or the Kindle Fire seem to offer everything that the basic e-readers do and more.  The iPad has apps available for both Kindle and Nook books and can be an amazing classroom resource.  After looking at the Apple website, I am excited about all the different things available on the iPad.

As I said before though, a lot is dependent upon what purpose the e-reader will be serving in the library.  Some people do not enjoy using the tablets for reading and would much prefer a reader with the e-ink screen.

Fortunately, the school I work for has a lot of iPads as well as five Nooks so I can check them out firsthand.  I have been trying to find the time to sit down with both devices to compare them.  If only the students didn't always have the Nooks checked out... (not really! I think it's great that they are so popular!)


  1. Hi Johanna,
    I think this is a really big and popular debate. I look forward to your analysis. I have only used iPads so I was wondering what the advantages of each are. I also think your question about how can we determine the best choice is a good one. With so many new things coming out all the time navigating the many options is difficult. Actually spending time with each seems vital to the process. Also talking to the students and getting their viewpoints sometimes brings up things we as adults don't see. I will keep following your blog so thanks for your topic!

  2. Hi Johanna,
    That's so great that you get to see iPads and Nooks in use by the students firsthand. I unfortunately don't have those opportunities, but I'm very interested in the iPad phenomenon, which is why I chose to research into their benefits of use in the school library media center. I think you made an important point about what purpose the e-reader will be serving for the particular school library, and that's definitely something I will need to consider as I further my own research.
    Megan Walker

  3. Johanna,

    Before we purchase anything, especially in the library, we must decide on its intended purpose. I think once you narrow this down, the process will be easier for you to focus in on and begin evaluating eReaders or in this case Tablets too because there are an array of choices! On my wordpress blog, I posted some sites that may help you decide which device to go with once you decide on its purpose. Have you done any interviews at your library with the SLMS? Sounds like the Nook is a big hit :) Figure out how both devices are used within your library and possibly decide from there.

  4. Johanna,

    I always preferred print as opposed to a computer screen or a tablet. I bought my wife a kindle and I really like the e-ink screen. The tablets can be hard on the eyes especially for someone like me who sits at a computer all day. But, the point that the tablets are able to do more is something that cannot be overlooked.


  5. Hi Johanna,
    I really think it's great that you can witness the use of both the iPad and the Nook in an actual school setting! I'm interested in knowing what kinds of "non-intended" uses the students and teachers come up with for these devices. My topic deals with creating digital video libraries for online learning and the iPad has come up as a possible screen recorder. There are so many possibilities with much of the technology that we are experimenting with and I think one of the best ways to evaluate usefulness is to watch how its being used!

  6. High Johanna,

    I'm also covering the topic of e-readers for my project as well. One of the conclusions I came to is that I want a device that is an E-reader first and a tablet second. I did observation last semester at an elementary school where they had iPads. None of the students used the tablets for reading, they were all playing angry birds with them.

    I believe that the purpose of an e-reader is to make reading more accessible and convenient for people. Any application that gets released for an e-reader should be something that aides the user in making the reading experience more enjoyable. There are smartphones and other tablets if a user wants to have more sophisticated, high tech functions.