Use of electronic books in classrooms

In 2015, technologies take a big place in our society. Rare are the ones that do not own any electronic device. Most people keep a tablet, a smartphone or a computer on them at all time. Even electronic books have been invented. The way it works is easy : you buy a book online and you read it on your little tablet. The most popular company that makes that device is Appel. They invented what is called the iBook. In this article , it will be discuss if those books are a good tool to be used in a school context or not and if it would be interesting to have all scholar manuals on them instead of having paper versions.


It is a small little bookshelf where you can browse your library on. Throughout all the books you bought, you tap on the tittle of one of them and the book will appear on your tablet. You can read a free sample of any book on iBookstore before buying it. Some books come with videos, audio records and animations. Thus, it makes life easier to those who are not at ease in reading in English, for example, and want to have a visual or an audio support. You can organize your library in what they call personal collection. You will tell me how bad it can be for the eyes. Something nice is that you can adapt de brightness of your screen depending on the environment where you are reading your book. That way, you are not dazzled by the book at all time. When you are ready to change page, you only have to swipe your finger on the screen and it will do.

Disadvantages of having iBooks in schools

First, it is very expensive for schools to buy them. The price would not be a problem if the device would work for a long time. Most of the time, electronic devices are breaking down after two or three years. It is more worth it to buy a book that will last 10 years, than buying a device that will not even work for the quarter of that time. The buying price is about $350.00, but you haven’t bought the book yet. You still have to buy the book that are about $15.00 each. A private school could probably afford those costs ,but not a public school. Buying iBooks would involve a cut of budget for other services that are given to students. Either in sports, in arts or in some installations that are in place for the entertainement of the students. Kids need competent teachers, support and a good Learning environement where they can also have fun. The purchase of iBooks would enable some schools to give a good service. There are many prior changes that should be done in schools before investing in this.

Advantages of having iBooks in schools

iBooks are leaving paper behind. Students don’t have to carry heavy books in their backpack anymore. It would avoid back problems for some kids .They would only have to carry a light tablet with them that they can take wherever they want without any problem. It is easy to highlight important parts of texts and create virtual notecards that the iBook will automatically collate. That way it can make studying more effective and easier as well.

As a future ESL teacher, I feel like using iBooks in class instead of using regular school book would not change a lot for learning a second language. In my opinion, it is better to have a paper version of a book ,because you are sure that nothing will go wrong with it ; there is no chance of lagging or of having an iBook out of battery when you need it. Plus, it is not all schools and students who can afford that device so it would not be fair for everyone. Even more, as , in my opinion, to learn a second language we should focus on the speaking and the interaction within each other, books are not used enough in ESL classes to invest so much money in something that might not improve the teacher and learning quality in the class. It is probably useful for a literature class where students have to read many books and to carry many books with them. For an ESL class, I think it would be more a distraction than anything else.

Catherine Hébert


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