eBook Educators Group

where educators come to learn from one another

Q. What do I need to know about E-book lending and borrowing?

The concept of borrowing and lending ebooks can be a confusing issue for teachers and librarians.  We held a webinar on Tuesday evening that focused on E-book Lending and Borrowing for Beginners.  Will Delamater, founder of eReadia and the Kindle, Nook (and more!) Educators Ning, discussed the three ways you can share/borrow/lend and stay in-line with copyright laws.  First, you can share the book.  Sharing the book means you can buy one book on one account and share it with six devices.  Next, you may lend your book to another person on a different account. Lastly, libraries may lend books to patrons.  You can watch the replay of the webinar by clicking here, and read the transcript of the text chat here.  Borrowing and lending has been a relatively hot topic on the ning.  Click here to see a discussion comparing the B & N Nook and Amazon Kindle.  Another possible source for getting answers is the Kindle Review Blog.  Click here to see a post related to Library lending on the Kindle.

 

Q. Where can I find content for my ereader?

Now that you have received your ereaders at school, registered them, labeled and catalogued them, and slipped them into protective covers, the time has come to fill them up with great content. Virtually every ereader out there is associated with a bookstore, and that is the easiest and most seamless way to get content onto your devices. Of course, Amazon and the Kindle pretty much invented the system of wireless downloads of books from its store to its reader, and Barnes and Noble wasn’t far behind. Kobo does it, as does Borders, and Sony even has its own bookstore. The bookstore your reader was designed to connect to is the first place to look for materials. All of these bookstores offer free public domain classics, as well as their pricier front list titles and other still-in-copyright books.

Outside the connected bookstore, though, there are a number of places to find an expanded list of free books. Google Books has long been a resource for public domain and out-of-print books as part of their book scanning project, and many of these are now available for download as PDF or ePub files. (See the webinar aarchive for the recent discussion of files types and readers.)  Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free downloadable ebooks in all formats.  To find out more about Project Gutenberg on the Ning discussion forum click here, and please add your experiences to the comments.  Another great source for people wanting to know more about ereaders and ebooks is the MobileRead Wiki which provides a discussion forum, links, and other resources, including a pretty comprehensive list of websites that offer free ebooks Click here to view that list.  The wiki also has an extensive of database of libraries that loans ebooks.  See that list here.

 

Q. How can I protect my ereaders from damage?  Where can I purchase protective cases?
 
Damage is always a consideration when loaning materials out to students. Now that so much material is being distributed digitally, some kind of “player” is often involved. Such is the case with e-books and ereaders. Putting ereaders in the hands of students can be a scary thought, but buying a good protective case can help calm that fear.  Marianna DeMott in her post Broken e-Readers states that you should consider the case you purchase for your ereader your “insurance policy.”  The most common type of damage made to an ereader is “screen compression” or screen failure.  Screen compression occurs when too much pressure is put on portions of the screen.  See Marianna’s post on screen failures, where she notes that carrying the recharging plug in the pocket of the case facing the screen is the likely cause of the failures she experienced.  Ning member Jean Craycraft began a discussion on finding the best case to protect the Nooks her school checks out to students.   Several places to check for covers are:  M-Edge Store, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.  Some members have also commented that they got the best prices for covers on eBay, so that is worth a look as well. And please, be sure to comment on the “Broken e-Readers “ post if you have had particular luck with a specific case, or if you find another solution to this challenging problem. 

 

Q. What are Android tablets and what can they do?

Many Android tablets have hit the market or plan to hit the market soon. They run on Google’s open source code for mobile devices (until now mostly cell phones) called Android. These tablets have ereader capability and more.  Several companies have released tablets that have the potential to complete with Apple’s iPad.  Other companies have released some great devices for half the price of the iPad, or less. See a tablet comparison chart here. One thing to consider is whether the tablet you purchase will have the availability to the apps you want.  For example, some Android powered devices are not supported by the Android marketplace, which means apps cannot be purchased from them. This article  at Android Tablet US discusses the specification for several tablets available.  Be sure to join the Android Tablet group if you have information to share or are planning to buy a tablet soon.  I will be updating the group with articles and suggestions in the coming weeks.   Android tablets that have been used by members of the Ning include the Pandigital Novel, the Velocity Micro Cruz Reader, and, of course, the Nook Color.         

 

Q. Which ereader should I purchase?

 Many ereaders are available for purchase.  Each ereader has different options, so choose one that fits your personality and needs.  Be sure and check our January webinar that compared various ereading devices.  Members on the ning have also discussed extensively the difference between Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook.  Check out the discussion here.    

 

Q. Can I password protect my ereader so students cannot download ebooks?

 

The password question is a very common question on the Edukindle Ning regarding our students use of ereaders.  With the Kindle and most other ereaders, it is not possible to password protect purchases. The only ereader that has this option is the Barnes and Noble Nook. Below are the steps to password protect purchases on your nook.
 
In four easy steps you can password protect your nook from unauthorized purchases.

Step 1 click Settings on the touchpad at the bottom of the device
Step 2 click on “device”
Step 3 select “Enable purchase password protection”
Step 4 enter the password for your B&N account

You may also password protect access to your nook following these simple steps.

Step 1 and Step 2 same as above
Step 3 select “Enable pass code”
Step 4 create and confirm password

In fact, Will recently wrote a post on this at his blog, which you can view here.

 

Q. Can I loan ereaders and ebooks to my students or library patrons?

Loan or not to loan...that is the question...  A lot of discussion has been taking place about the loaning of ereaders. Several libraries and college universities have implemented ereader loan programs.  See information about Duke University’s Library Kindle program here. Sue Polanka has blogged extensively on this subject at her blog No Shelf Required.  Click here for a link to a presentation Polanka conducted on the Challenges and Opportunities to ebooks in Public Libraries.  Edukindle Ning member Anne Weaver posted some great information about the Terms of Service on Amazon’s Kindle.  See the discussion here. Also, check out a response directly from Amazon on the subject found here.
 
At this time, I am not sure there is a “clear-cut” answer to the loaning question.  Amazon has assisted school districts in setting up loan programs, yet their terms of service are clear that loaning is prohibited by the Kindles’ Terms of Service.  As news on lending develops, I will continue with updates.

 



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