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Archive for January, 2011

EER500 : 2 : REsearch design.

Posted by arlekeno on January 6, 2011

OK, I am thinking of doing a Survey Study, interviewing all the Teacher Librarians in the MANTLE support group area, or more likley, who attend the conference.

Questions would be along the lines of

Does your school have E-books, either in CD-rom form or linked to the LIbrary catalogue or in a form you know of.

To your knowledge are they used in class?

sounds simple, but no one else has really asked this

To more readings.

EDIT 11/1/11

Using Punch 2009 – look at pragmatic approach, we have a problem, are ebooks being used, so I am asking. BUT WHAT IS MY PARADIGM?

I think I am interpretivist, shall have to look into it more.


Sample size. (representative samples) I will use Mantle, so almost all public schools in the area and a large number of private TLs. Which will also allow us to check variables between Junior and Secondary as well as public v private.

Am thinking a self completed questionaire, copies sent out to all mantle attendees with the invite so they are not taken by surprise and know what to look for, and then again asked at the mantle conference.

PG 166, fig 7.1 steps of social research.

pg 167, fig 7.2 Most likely to use survey types 5 and 8.

How many TLS are there in NSW? WHO KNOWS?

THis survey would be accurate for the Maitland Newcastle area, but could its results go beyond this area?

Possibly in Sydney with more concentrated resources things could be better, and in the country worse.

(other areas of interest, is eBook take up driven by a tech savy librarian? a trendy head teacher? , barriers to take up? )

Keep survey short and multi-choice for ease of data processing and so not to burden the people filling it out.(responder fatigue, Chap 8, pg 217)

pg 218 chap 9, advantages of Self survey, 219, disadvantage, (which is why send out some info in advance, e.g. cd-rom, do it at mantle to lower risk of low return rate).

EDIT 12/1/2010

Chap 10.

pg 239: Ask questions that will answer your question.

Am avoiding vague terms like often ( pg240)

Common mistakes on page 244 to avoid.

Chap 14:

I would like to have my statistics in terms of percentages.

??How would I measuer the tech-saviness of a T.L.. or the drive???

CHap 26:

pg632 : All T.L.s should have access to it.



Use of E-Books in an Academic and Research Environment: A Case Study from the Indian Institute of Science. By: Anuradha, K. T.; Usha, H. S.. Program: Electronic Library & Information Systems, v40 n1 p48-62 2006. (EJ901949)
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the use and usability of e-books from the perspectives of users in an academic and research environment. Design/methodology/approach: This study involved an e-mail questionnaire to survey researchers in the academic and research environment of the Indian Institute of Science regarding their use of e-books. Findings: The responses indicated that the students tend to use this new technology more often than faculty members and staff. Those who did use e-books mostly used reference and technical material. The highest response was from the Centre for Ecological Science, followed by the Supercomputer Education and Research Centre, and then the Department of Molecular Reproduction and Development and Genetics. The majority of the respondents have used computers for over five years for a variety of purposes including e-mail communication, internet browsing and text processing as well as for other advanced uses such as numerical computing and DNA sequence analysis. However, the use of e-books appears to be very low, indicating a requirement for creating awareness and user education about both software and hardware related to e-books. Only 37 of the 104 respondents had used the free trial offer from Kluwer and Edutech eBooks during July 2004. Originality/value: There has been no previous study reported which has investigated users’ perspectives of e-books in an academic and research environment in India using a questionnaire method.


Possible Survey (factual questions pg 238)

Are you in Prmiary, Secondary, Combined Primary/Secondary school?

Is this school Public or Private?

Does your school have E-books?

If yes, please continue, if not, thank you for your time.

Are the e-books linked to websites? e.g. Project Gutenberg, Amazon,

If yes, how often are they used?

Weekly during a term, monthly during a term? 1-3 times a term, less than once a term, never.

or, How often have they been used this term? but I would prefer for more than just one term

Are these E-books digitially stored in the school as files on a server?

Does your school have eBooks on Cd.Roms or other portable storage media?


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EER 500 1b.

Posted by arlekeno on January 5, 2011

Heather Green, MEd (Teacher Librarianship) 26 November 2010

Research Topic or Problem and Links to Literature The purpose of this research is to conduct an investigation into the potential of eBooks to improve reading outcomes in the middle years of schooling. According to international research (listed below) and a recent Scholastic media report (my starting point for this task), eBooks are used widely in the community and can motivate students to read and support students struggling with literacy. However, there is also research to indicate that it takes more time to process eBook content and that students are not as efficient in their reading (Lam, 2009, 39). Similarly, another study (Ip, 2008) argues that there is a gender and age difference between students reading habits and preferences for printed books and eBooks. Also, students who read printed books also read more eBooks. Therefore, given these findings, my intention is to explore whether eBooks do improve motivation to read and reading for understanding (reading outcomes) in the middle years of schooling.
A draft research question
My question is To what extent do eBooks improve reading outcomes in the middle years of schooling?

Practical importance of research question

As Scholastic is a book publisher, it is likely there is an agenda behind their research and the resulting publicity. However, it was interesting that the Scholastic report (The Kids and Family Reading Report which is available at found that freedom of choice and opportunities to use eBooks were both motivators for reading. This leads to the question that as eBooks allow for greater choice/access (for those with digital technologies) will eBooks/eReaders lead to an improvement in (long term) motivation to read? Also, as reading reduces in the teenage years (secondary years) will eBook usage increase or decrease? Next, it is interesting that in terms of recent and relevant evidence based research on this topic (some of which are listed below) there seems to be research on primary and tertiary students but little on secondary students. Similarly, it is of practical importance for school students as the draft Australian Curriculum – English describes Year 8 Reading achievement as “They interpret literal and non-literal language in digital texts, and how combinations of written, visual, auditory and symbolic elements are used to make meaning, achieve particular purposes and establish certain relationships with audiences” (ACARA Draft Australian Curriculum English, 2010, 65,). While this is referring to far more than an eBook, there is still a requirement for students to understand how an eBook works and to comprehend its contents just as they understand a picture book/TV show/movie etc. Also, with the National Broadband Network, Rudd and Gillard’s Digital Education Revolution and in Victorian state primary schools netbooks for Year 5 and Year 6 students, the opportunity for reading books electronically is only going to increase. Consequently given this strong ICT focus, there is a need for Australian research in the area of eBooks, reading ability and secondary school students.


ACARA. (2010). Draft Australian Curriculum – K-12 – English. Retrieved from

Ip, K., Chu, S., & Sit, D.K.N. (2008). Primary students’ reading habits of printed and e-books. Retrieved from

Lam, P., Lam, S.L., Lam, J., & McNaught, C. (2009). Usability and usefulness of eBooks on PPCs: How students’ opinions vary over time. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25 (1), 30-44. Retrieved from

Nicholas, D., Rowlands, I., Clark, D., Huntington, P., Jamali., H.R., & Olle, C,. UK scholarly e-book usage: a landmark survey. Aslib Proceedings, 60 (4), 311 – 334. Retrieved from DOI: 10.1108/00012530810887962

Scholastic. (2010, September 29). New study on reading in the digital age: Parents say, electronic digital devices negatively affect kids’ reading time (Press release). Retrieved from

____Anna Antoniadis- Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 27/11/10____

My research topic will focus on E-Readers and their role in students reading engagement. The basic features of digital reading devices provide avenues for increased access and interaction with a wide range of texts through the manipulation of the text via the electronic tools and features of these digital readers. As e-readers are increasingly being used in the educational setting I wanted to focus my research on the extent of this level of engagement by the readers of such devices and the impact of these E-readers upon students reading engagement and increased literacy. Some initial ideas for this topic included the investigation/comparison of different E-Readers and their impact on students reading engagement, and the value of E-Readers as a learning tool. I decided on the following research question:

To what extent do E-Readers improve student reading engagement?

The literature sourced for this research topic focused on the modalities and the function of the various E-Readers used in different educational settings and with a different student cohort. Ferriter (2010) comments on the success of struggling and reluctant readers with the Kindle. Features such as text size, layout and text to speech functions increase accessibility and was “more likely to have a deep, meaningful and uninterrupted learning experience”. Harland et al (2010), also observed a greater interaction with the Kindle namely with the increased usage of the functions such as highlighting of passages, online dictionary and sharing and discussing of downloaded titles. In contrast, Behler (2009) in her trial of the Sony e-reader commented that 67% of college students were multitasking whilst reading, possibly compromising their reading experience.


Behler, A. (2009). E-READERS IN ACTION. American Libraries, 40(10), 56-59. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

Ferriter, W. (2010). E-Readers: Get Ready for the Revolution. Educational Leadership, 68(3), 84-85. Retrieved from Professional Development Collection database.

Harland, P., Plante, A., Marker, J., Falter, C., Thompson,K., Guilmett, K., et al. (2010). The High School Book Club – Now With Kindles!. Teacher Librarian, 37(5), 57-59. Retrieved from Education Research Complete database.

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The acceptance and use of e-books privately, in public libraries and school libraries have been slow. The advantages of e-textbooks for secondary school students are multiple, including; currency of content, possible purchase of only the portion of text to be used, reducing the weight of books carried, ecological benefit of reducing print material (Smith, 2010), remote access, use of hyperlinks and multimedia, ability to hear the book read aloud and ability to vary font size (Uhlmann, 2010). Kerri Smith in Impedimedia: what is holding schools back from the adoption of e-books? outlines some of the issues to be addressed by schools. With the arrival and popular acceptance of the iPad earlier this year attention is again being given to the possible advantages of the use of e-books. Ipads, though receiving a great deal of popular attention, are far from the only delivery device and the variety of devices and formats is only one area school libraries must explore when deciding to include e-textbooks as a valuable tool for learning and teaching among their digital resources.

Smith, K. (2010). Impedimedia: what is holding schools back from the adoption of e-books? FYI The Journal for the School Library Professional, 14(4), 10-13.

Uhlmann, D. (2010). Ebooks: A new generation. School Library Journal, Nov., 72.


What are the impediments facing school libraries sourcing and including e-textbooks for secondary school learning and teaching?


Searching the literature relating to the use of e-textbooks by school libraries much is being written currently as articles discussing probable implementation and possibilities by teacher librarians in professional journals, but I have not found any qualitative or quantitative studies specifically relating to school libraries. Articles sourced describe studies of e-textbook use in tertiary course work. These studies, both qualitative and quantitative, will aid in formulating an approach to similar use in secondary education. These studies do not cover other areas in need of investigation such as availability, copyright, costing structures, distribution and access, all of these will need to be explored. Remaining informed and involved in the active debate surrounding the implementation of e-texts in Australian and international schools will aid to ensure relevant aspects are included in the scope of the study.


Lam, P., Lam, S., Lam, J. & McNaught, C. (2009). Useability and usefulness of eBooks on PPCs: How students opinions vary over time, Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(1), 30-44.

Lonsdale, R. & Armstrong, C. (2010) Promoting your e-books: lessons from the UK JISC National e-book Observatory, Program-Electronic Library and Information Systems, 44(3), 185-106.

Mederios, N. (2010). Books, books everywhere but nary a one in print: Cushing Academy eliminates print books from its library, OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library services, 26(1), 5-7.

Nicholas, D., Rowlands, I. & Jamali, H. (2010). E-textbook use, information seeking behaviour and its impact: Case study business and management, Journal of Information Science, 36(2), 263-280.

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Bridgette Manley Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) 29/11/10

Research Topic or Problem Report E readers: Can electronic books help reluctant readers? external link:

After recently experiencing ebooks for the first time, I became excited at their potential as educational tools, particularly in primary school libraries. The report (Schrock, 2006) indicates numerous advantages and highlights many of the positive attributes of ebooks, suggesting that ebooks can help make reading more engaging and enhance students reading ability. This sparked my interest to research further into the usefulness and worthiness of ebooks within schools, and question why with all the positive attributes and potential are ebooks not commonly used to teach reading, particularly for children who are reluctant readers or have special needs?

Draft Research Question

Why are ebooks not more commonly used in schools to support students in improving their reading skills?

From Literature to Research Questions and Practical Importance

Article 1 The 2010 Horizon Report: Australia-New Zealand Edition. p8-11 external link: This article supports many of the claims regarding the positive aspects of ebooks stated in the report (Schrock, 2006). The terms richly visual, interactive, deeply engaging are used to describe ebooks. The article broadened my ideas for using ebooks in the school library and highlighted more advantages for not only individual use but also for collaborative learning situations. Again this article fuelled my need to understand why with all these great features are ebooks not being used more?

Article 2 Electronic and printed books with and without adult support as sustaining emergent literacy. This study examined the use of ebooks compared to print books, with and without adult support. The study confirmed the use of ebooks with adult support can improve reading skills. This also highlighted the need for adults to be proficient at using the ebook technology. The report (Schorck, 2006) mentioned convincing adults to use the technology will not be easy and therefore, this article has made me consider the proficiency of adults using digital technology may affect ebooks being used in schools as an educational tool.

Article 3 20 Ways to Empower Diverse Learners With Educational Technology and Digital Media external link: This article contained 20 tips for educators when using educational technology. This demonstrated a number of potential factors that may influence the successful introduction and use of ebooks in schools. Factors such as professional development and training, funding, awareness and support may hinder the schools acceptance and introduction of ebooks in the school.

As I am enthused and motivated to use ebooks within my future role as a teacher librarian, the report and the 3 articles has encouraged my research of the potential barriers to introducing and maintaining the use of ebooks as educational tools. Being informed of the advantages and worthiness of ebooks and also the possible constraints and barriers will equip me with valuable knowledge in the future when introducing or using ebooks in school libraries.


Johnson, L., Smith, R., Levine, A., & Haywood, K. (2010). The 2010 Horizon Report: Australia- New Zealand Edition. Austin Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Kingsley, K. (2007) 20 Ways To Empower Diverse Learners With Educational Technology and Digital Media. Intervention in School and Clinic. 43(1), 52-56.

Korat, O., Segal-Drori, O., Klien, P. (2009). Electronic and Printed books with and without adult support as sustaining emergent literacy. Journal of Educational Computing Research 41 (4), 453-475. doi: 10.2190/EC.41.4.d

Schrock, K. (2006). .E readers: Can electronic books help reluctant readers? Interactive Educator. 2(2), p10-11.


Criteria for evaluating research questions.  (Bryman, 2008, pg 74)

  1. They should be clear, in the sense of being intelligable.
  2. They should be researchable – that is, they should allow you to do research in relation to them. This means that they should not be formulated in term that are so abstract that they cannot be converted into researchable items.
  3. They should have some connection(s) with established theory and research. This means there should be a literature on which you can draw to help illuminate how your research question should be approached. Even if you find a topic that has been scarcely addressed by social scientists, it is unlikely there will be no relevant literature (e.g. on related or parallel topics).
  4. Your research questions should be linked to each other. Unrelated research questions are unlikely to be acceptable, since you should be developing an argument in your dissertation. you could not very redilly construct a singule argument in relation to unrelated research questions.
  5. They should at the very least hold out the prospect of making an original contribution – however small – to the topic.
  6. the research questions should be neither too broad (so that you would need a massive grant to study them) nor too narrow (so that you cannot make a reasonably significant contribution to your area of study).

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