What’s next: eBook readers

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about eBook readers and their place in a learning environment. We’re at an interesting point in their adoption right now, with the technology not quite mature. Libraries (and educators in general) need to be taking a look at currently available devices and thinking about what’s coming next.

I’ll be the first to admit that students aren’t using eBook readers en masse yet. In fact I can count the number of eReader devices I’ve seen used in public on one hand. And while I definitely don’t think the printed paper page will ever disappear completely, I do believe that someday eReaders will play a substantial role in students’ lives.

Today’s students are the so-called ‘digital natives’, those who grew up with computers and related technology embedded throughout their lives. As a result they have very different expectations and competencies than previous generations. When it comes to eReaders, today’s students are that previous generation. Tomorrow’s students will be the eReader literate crowd. Ideally we’d take an active role in creating publishing standards and devices while that generation comes of age, but I’m not sure that’s realistically possible. At the very least we need to keep a sharp eye on what’s coming and make our concerns and best practices known.

Meanwhile I’m deeply concerned by a lot of what I see happening in the arena of DRM and eBook readers. But that’s a topic for another post.

Back to life, with news!

I’ve been much quieter here than I intended to be lately, and hope to revitalize my posting routine in the near future. But first, I have news!



Melissa and I are engaged!

I picked out a ring about 2-3 weeks ago, and had to wait for the setting to come in. I picked it up yesterday and decided I’d better make use of it before I hid it so well that I forgot where I put it 🙂

A little while back, Melissa and I built a mini cocktail arcade table out of an Ikea table and an old laptop. She loves it, perhaps even more than I do. Ms. Pac-Man is her favorite game ever, since she was a little kid. I decided to leverage these facts, and modified the game a bit. After the second level of Ms. Pac-Man, there’s a small little animated cut scene that plays. Here’s a low quality youtube version of it that someone recorded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzZysHkdC6U

I turned it into this (sorry, there’s no sound in this video):

She saw it, was confused, said "what?", turned around, and there I was with the ring!

Oh, and she also said yes 🙂

I feel like the luckiest guy in the world today!

More details, for those who have asked me how I did the alteration:
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