What are Electronic Books?


Now that they are firmly established in the consumer sector, electronic books are beginning to demonstrate capabilities that challenge the very definition of reading. Audiovisual, interactive, and social elements enhance the informational content of books and magazines. Social tools extend the reader’s experience into the larger world, connecting readers with one another and enabling deeper, collaborative explorations of the text. The content of electronic books and the social activities they enable, rather than the device used to access them, are the keys to their popularity; nearly everyone carries some device that can function as an electronic reader, and more people are engaging with electronic books than ever before. New, highly interactive publications demonstrate that quite apart from their convenience, electronic books have the potential to transform the way we interact with reading material of all kinds, from popular titles to scholarly works. Electronic books are being explored in virtually every discipline, and the advantages for students make this technology worth pursuing.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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