Kindle Survey Confuses Intuitive with Familiar
Today’s Kindle news is that the Kindle DX is a failure with pilot programs in colleges. The "Kindle Flunked" article in The Register states:
"And a traditional hard-copy textbook is more usable — it’s easier and more intuitive to thumb through, search, and scribble on than an ebook…"
I think the students in this case are confusing "intuitive" with "familiar." If you’re a college student, you’ve been using printed books for at least 18 years, you’ve got a lot of experience with them, the paper "interface" is familiar. The Kindle (or any ebook reader) on the other hand is new and unfamiliar. While it may have a learning curve, so does finding something in a book. Hand a 4 year old a book and you’ll see what I mean. While they know how to flip pages, they don’t know how to find anything.
I think it would be premature for these test universities, students, or ebook manufacturers to declare that ebooks aren’t as "usable" for studying as print just because students haven’t learned how to best use ebooks. Given time, I think once students get up the ebook device learning curve, they’ll find the device benefits start to outweigh paper.
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