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Presentation Details


Ebooks and the Future: Pathfinders to Information for Education

Julie Whiting.

Electronic Books (ebooks) are a newly emerging phenomenon that could have profound implications for the way we teach, learn and access information.

Within the tertiary education sector in Australia, educators and information managers are beginning to consider what proportion of resources should be committed to developing the infrastructure needed to make ebooks available for staff and students. This concern has led to the question driving the research, undertaken as a Minor Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for Degree of Master of Education in 2002: Can Ebooks Benefit Education by Facilitating Access to Information?

This study takes a qualitative methodological approach to the subject of ebooks in education. Within this broad framework the study uses an interpretive perspective, with some elements of a critical view. There are two main research tools being used. First is the use of the review of literature as a data-gathering tool. The review classifies the literature researched into ten broad categories that focus on access as the central theme to this study. The second tool is the use of future scenarios building as developed by the futurist, Peter Schwartz. His eight-step process culminates in a series of scenario stories set in the future. As a data management tool, this provides a method of ordering perceptions about alternative future environments while it synthesises and applies the data gathered through literature searching.

Potentially, ebooks offer immediately available, portable, flexible, twenty-four hour access and exciting new ways of educating and communicating information to a greater number of people. Ebooks will benefit education if educators and information managers respond to them as an opportunity to provide enhanced teaching and learning environments.


Julie Whiting  (Australia)
Education Developer
Learning Services
Deakin University

Julie is employed at Deakin University as an Education Developer for the implementation of the new online Learning Management System WebCT Vista. This work involves the migration and development of educational content, system support and training of staff in the use of WebCT Vista. Prior to that she worked as the Access Librarian responsible for the provision of an ebook service for students with a print disability. Before working at Deakin University, Julie was a secondary school teacher-librarian for seven years.

  • Access to Information
  • Accessibility of Information
  • Accessibility of Education
  • Books in Education
  • Customised Information
  • Digital Books
  • E-books
  • E-learning
  • Ebook Content
  • Ebook Reading Devices
  • Ebook Readers
  • Ebook Formats
  • Ebook Future Scenarios
  • Ebook Research
  • Ebook Standards
  • Ebooks
  • Electronic Books
  • Electronic Texts
  • Electronic Textbooks
  • Future Scenarios Building
  • Future Scenarios in Education
  • Future Scenarios for Books
  • Handheld Reading Devices
  • Planning in Education
Person as Subject
  • Schwartz, Peter

(30 min paper, English)