10 Reasons for using PDF eBooks in K_12 Education - repost

The introduction of the Kindle has created a heightened interest in ebooks. While there have been a number of different ebook readers available for a number of years, the Kindle seems to have captured the attention of a great number of people who hadn't considered ebooks in the past. While I believe this attention is good for ebooks in general, I believe that for educational ebooks PDF is the best format for overall use. I have put together 10 reasons why I believe this to be true.

1. Comfort - Teachers and students are already comfortable with PDF. The programs to view the files are ubiquitous. Virtually every computer in an educational setting today can open and view them. This comfort level also means that there is little or no training needed for teachers and students to utilize a PDF file to teach and learn.

2. Equipment - Schools have the equipment to view PDFs. As mentioned earlier. It would be difficult to find a computer that can't read a PDF. This means that money for new equipment is not a problem.

3. Cost - PDFs can be created easily and inexpensively. While the professional level programs to create PDFs can be relatively expensive, there are options on most platforms to create them for free.

4. Fonts - PDFs accurately display and preserve the function and beauty of fonts. There are definitely times when plain text just doesn't cut it.

5. Pictures - PDFs do a great job of displaying pictures in color or black and white. A picture can be worth a thousand words. This is particularly true in the teaching and learning process. Sometimes, a picture is worth far more that a thousand words. It is nice to have a format that can handle text and pictures seamlessly.

6. Layout - all the richness of desktop publishing documents in a format that can be shared with anyone. As with pictures and fonts, there are times when the effort and talent used to layout a document needs to be preserved. A well designed document can focus attention and guide the flow of interaction.

7. External Links - bring the resources of the internet to any document. Being able to bring outside resources to a document can add richness to the educational process.

8. Internal Links - quickly and easily navigate even complex documents. As documents grow in size, the ability to navigate and locate specific locations becomes more than just handy; it is a necessity.

9. Printing - PDFs can be printed when necessary. While in many cases, the ideal method for reading a document would be from the computer screen, there are times when a printed copy is still the best way to interact with it. Worksheets and activities are good examples of documents that work best when printed.

10. Cross Platform - Windows, Mac, or Linux, it doesn't matter, it just works. Educators can use the equipment they already have to bring the flexibility and convenience of ebooks to the place of learning.

I posted this last year but wanted to bring it over to this blog and investigate this idea a bit more.

My eBook Philosophy

This is a quick introduction to my philosophy on ebooks and education. I will use this a basis for further post and discussions.

eBooks by Kids
eBooks for Kids
Learning from eBooks
Learning by Creating eBooks
Learning to Create eBooks
Learn by Reading
Learn by Writing
Learn by Creating
Learn by Sharing
Learn by Teaching
Writing for an audience greater than one

We can use ebooks to teach just as we use books to teach. We can have the students read them, use them as textbooks, as reference materials, and as worksheets.

However, we can teach with ebooks by allowing students to become authors, by giving them the opportunity and power to create a book that someone else, other than their teacher, might read.

We can use ebooks to help students create resources that are less fleeting, more permanent, and more useful.

eBooks provide the opportunity to publish without the cost and constraints associated with publishing in print. eBooks can be created without concern for the financial limitations of color, pictures, size, or space. An ebook of 10, 100, or 1000 pages cost basically the same to create, store, distribute, and consume.

eBooks can be created in multiple formats with little relative effort to include handhelds, computers, cell phones, and web access. This flexibility can create opportunities for access that would not be possible otherwise. Our challenge is to use these wonderful possibilities in powerful ways.

eBooks in Education

How can ebooks impact education? Can they impact education? That is the topic I have been working on and thinking about for quite some time. I believe digital resources can impact education in a positive way but not just by students or teachers using ebooks. I see real opportunity in the process of students being involved in creating ebooks. That is one of the topics I would like to discuss here. How can we help students learn by giving the experience of creating digital books. More thoughts are coming, do you have any to share?


Welcome to my blog. I am going to use this space to share some of my ideas on education, technology, learning, teaching, digital resources, and other topics that may come to mind. I know this is part of a commercial site as I use the rest of it to sell educational ebooks and other teaching materials. I apologize if that bothers you, but in my world, the two are related.

That is all for now. Just a quick post to get things started. I hope to start soon.
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