I recently read an article about the prospect of Ebooks replacing textbooks in the classroom. I remembered instantly what a pain it was (literally) to lug a huge book sack over stuffed with high school curriculum to and from school everyday. You remember that picture, Literature, Arithmetic, Science and Social Studies busting at the seams, day in and day out. Just imagine what it would be like to have all of that knowledge at your fingertips in an instant on an Ereader device. I suppose it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to me. As a teacher I’ve seen technology pave its way slowly, yet consistently into the nooks and crannies of our schools over the past several decades. Video projectors were first replaced by VCR’s and finally DVD players. Those green grading books became networked programs through out a state wide system. Instead of scratching numbers into a tiny box, teachers plunk them into a computer database and export them. Chalkboards have become whiteboards, overhead projector images are now on power point, students demonstrate oral report presentations using Video Maker and the old musty Apple computer lab in the back of the school has transformed into a portable Del laptop laboratory.
Has all of this changed how kids have learned in the classroom? You bet it has. It has engaged them deeper in the learning process, furthering their understanding of the curriculum. So, what does the emergence of Ebooks equal in equation? More kids reading? I think this is the case. Children in today’s world are entirely tuned in to technology. They have cell phones, Ipods, laptop computers, Zunes, Wii, Xbox, accounts on Facebook… you get the drift. When you really think about it, if you want to encourage a child to read into today’s society it almost sounds crazy to consider handing them a book. You might as well hand them an old forty – five record instead of their beloved Ipods or a VHS video tape in lieu of a DVD. The reality is traditional books may become obsolete sooner than we believe.
What does this mean for the writing industry? More importantly, what does this mean for indie authors? I believe a Golden Era may be on the approach. What do you think? Please interject your thoughts. I would love to hear your opinion.