Last Monday, I was the "guest" speaker at my local Kiwanis Club. Our club usually has about 50-70 members in attendance, is represented by a broad cross section of occupations, and skews to the older side of the chronological spectrum but still has a surprising number of 30-something youngsters in it - including a lots of parents.
My topic was e-books for personal and educational use.
Like always, I started with the statement, "I HATE BOOKS" despite being both an English teacher and librarian. But I back off the statement pretty quickly, by explaining that what I hate about books is their cellulose format. Paper books are heavy, get dirty, get lost, go out of print. I need to find my reading glasses before I can access them. Printing, storage, shipping and remaindering make them more expensive than they need to be. They have words in them I don't know, I can't pronounce, and I can't ask them questions.
How many other 15th century technologies do we still venerate? Medicinal blood-letting? The Iron Maiden?
During the rest of my 20 minutes, I share and talked about four short video clips, commercial but exciting:
Had I more time, I'd have shown:
My AHA! moment was that e-books were not a tough sell to this group. The questions were about "What e-book reader is best for me or my family?" No reactionary comments about loving print books. Not even much of a raised eyebrow when I suggested that inexpensive e-books go on the student supply list. A state representative in the club (and former school board member) quizzed me after the meeting about educational policy ramifications. (Funding equity for technology? Changed metrics for school success? Need for additional staff development dollars? Technology literacy requirements of practicing teachers and administrators?)
Kiwanis is my community bell-weather for the acceptance of new technologies. These folks are ready for e-books both at home and in schools.
Librarians and teachers, get ready.