Tag: ebooks

QR code textbooks could help to lighten student loads

A company in India is printing quick response codes on front pages following each chapter for PDF access.

The Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research (Balbharti) in India has announced the launch of new QR code textbooks that have been designed to make it easier for students to obtain digital copies and to lighten the load they need to carry in their schoolbags.

The books are being produced for the Class VI syllabus which was recently changed and re-printed.

The new QR code textbooks have barcodes printed on each of the front pages following the chapters which directs the smartphone or tablet user to the official Balbharti website, where all class textbooks can be obtained in PDF format. The hope is that the quick response codes will also be helpful in accessing a smartphone app that is currently in its planning stages.

By using QR code textbooks, students would be required to carry far less in their schoolbags each day.

QR Code textbooks - LibraryThe Balbharti website is also undergoing a makeover at the same time that the mobile app is being developed. The hope is that by making the site easier to use, students will be more likely to opt for the digital versions of the textbooks and will not have to carry as much in their bags. The site’s updates will include an e-learning link of both the Marathi and English language magazines such as Kishor. Kishor is a teen focused magazine that is published on a monthly basis by Balbharti. The magazine is celebrating its fortieth anniversary.

The Balbharti controller, Vivek Gosavi, has explained that the size of the textbook has grown to A4 page size to make it possible to print it in a larger font that is more legible and appealing to both students and teachers. However, because of the larger page size, it also means that the books have grown, making them bigger and heavier inside a student’s bag.

Gosavi explained about the QR code textbooks that they are currently being “used as pilot project this year. At least students in urban Maharashtra would get the benefit of this feature. We will observe the response of this feature and will decide on the scope of its introduction in other books next year.”

Will the iPad mini and Night Shift make the ereader obsolete?

A recent eMarketer study has shown that ebook readers are holding their own, but that was before Apple’s changes.

The iOS 9.3 update brought the “Night Shift” feature to iPhones and iPads and comes with the controversial claim that it has reduced the amount of blue light emitted by the mobile devices and may, therefore, help to push the ereader further toward being obsolete.

The reason is that while Apple says its devices may no longer interrupt sleep patterns, ebook readers still might.

The design of the “Night Shift” is meant to decrease the blue light emitted by the device. Those wavelengths of light are often blamed for disturbing people’s ability to sleep, so by removing them, the thought is that it will stop people from harming their sleep cycles through the use of tablets at bedtime. With this in mind, some have predicted that the use of the ereader, a device that is not backlit and that does not emit any blue light, will decline.

Some people have been using an ereader to read ebooks at bedtime in order to avoid wakefulness problems related to tablet use.

Will the eReader become obsoleteOverall, most doctors and sleep specialists recommend that patients stop using any kinds of mobile devices for an hour to 90 minutes before they go to bed. That is meant to decrease exposure to blue light but also to the stimulation these gadgets can bring with their use. Many doctors also recommend that patients use only dim lighting throughout that same span of time in order to help to encourage the production of melatonin (a sleep-promoting hormone that is light sensitive).

For that reason, eink displays from dedicated ereaders have been seen as great ways to take advantage of a certain limited amount of internet connectivity, as well as the comfortable ability to read an ebook, such as a favorite young adult fiction novel or the latest murder mystery in a series you’re enjoying.

So far, eink ereader displays haven’t been connected with sleep struggles and have been very appealing to people who are trying their best to give themselves a restful night of sleep. What has yet to be seen is whether the Night Shift in combination with the iPad mini from Apple will be enough to replace ereaders by providing a full tablet experience without the blue light exposure.