Who is Smik?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

e-book management strategies for schools

One of the problems in managing e-book use in schools is that we are dealing with a number of scenarios as the top of this diagram indicates, and the solutions required, or possible, will vary.

The other is that the e-reading devices are not always owned by the school. The school may be providing devices for experiential reasons, or social/economic equity, but often you'll need to manage download to not only a variety of devices, involving 3 main formats (see yesterday's post), but also allow access to school resources to privately owned devices.

What I've tried to show in the bottom diagram Repositories are the solutions being attempted in Australian schools. It is a sort of tiered approach, although the elements run in parellel to each other,  and it is possible that not all 4 elements will be present. The Third Party Solutions for example may well be financially beyond the school as setting them up and then paying an annual licence fee are expensive. The Third Party Solutions won't replace the hard copy holdings of the school library, and if the school ends up with nothing to show for their spending on e-books, then higher authorities may not regard it as money well spent. The other thing with a Third Party Solution is that implementation in a school has to be accompanied by quite a high level of usage to present an economically valid argument. Anecdotal reports I have heard about implementation in public libraries for example have talked about an initial flurry of borrowing, then a slackening off, and the need to build up a clientele through pro-active measures.

Is your school doing something that doesn't fit this diagram? Or does it cover everything you are doing? I'd love to know. Leave a comment please.

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