The introduction of technology in classrooms has been a revolutionary step in the field of education for both educators and learners.
Gone are the days when K12 students needed to carry all kinds of textbooks in their school bags to cover an entire year’s syllabus. Now, a single device is enough to do so, as eBooks are slowly becoming the norm in schools around the world.
The introduction of eLearning has made the educational experience more conducive for educators and more interactive for learners.
While there are several eReader apps in the market that schools are using, there are some key features that a chosen app must cover in order to offer a holistic experience, especially in regard to K12 curriculum development.
This guide will dive into these features so you can make the right choice when choosing an ideal educational eBook reader app to integrate into your organization’s educational program.
Table of Contents:
5 Must-Have Features in an Educational eBook Reader Application
The ideal eReader app for education must tick several boxes. It must have a user-friendly interface, be interoperable across different platforms like tablets and smartphones, and offer a great deal of personalization, amongst other features.
Let’s examine each of these aspects in detail.
An Intuitive User Interface
The first and most important aspect of any eReader app used in the educational sector is that it must have an intuitive and interactive user interface. This is key, as the idea behind integrating technology is to make it easier for faculty to share information and for learners to grasp it.
As such, the interface must be easy to understand and navigate. This is where different applications take different approaches.
While some prefer offering a multitude of features that students may often not use, others prefer offering the most crucial ones in a seamless operation. The latter is often a better option, as it doesn’t overwhelm the students or teachers but ensures they have the necessary features.
While choosing an eBook reader app, look for one that is easy to use and ideally doesn’t require any prior technical knowledge. Most apps now come with drag-and-drop features that make digital books easier to create.
Support Across Multiple Platforms
Different schools tend to take different approaches to incorporate technology into their curriculum and online education programs.
While some provide tablets to students, others leave them to purchase their own devices. In the case of the latter, chances are that students may purchase either an Android or an iOS device. This is where the app’s ability to support multiple platforms becomes crucial while ensuring it offers the same set of features across them all.
Apart from tablets and smartphones, the ideal eBook reader app should also be able to support large format devices like computers or laptops should students decide to use them for their learning.
Personalization and Customization-Related Features
One of the main reasons for the popularity of eReader apps is that they allow users to customize certain aspects of the platform to ensure that it suits different users and their respective learning styles.
Since the idea is to make the learning process easier for students, a good eBook reader app must also be able to provide complex information in bite-sized pieces.
Additionally, features that allow students to annotate, highlight, or even write notes just like they would in a physical textbook are crucial to making these apps a comprehensive alternative to the traditional pen-and-paper approach.
Certain features that must make the cut include:
- Being able to change the font size.
- Adjusting the pagination to fit based on changes in font size.
- Allowing users to change the font color or contrast to make the platform more accessible for those who are potentially visually differently-abled.
Additionally, a text-to-speech feature can also be very helpful.
Online Collaboration Tools
Learning isn’t always a singular activity and often involves working with peers and teachers to ensure a collaborative approach. This is where an eBook reader’s ability to allow for such collaboration becomes crucial.
This is especially important so geographical limitations don’t limit the overall learning experience, and two or more students living in different parts of the world can still seamlessly learn together.
For example, when working in groups, it often becomes difficult to provide every member of the group with the same learning material. The traditional approach would require the teacher to print out enough copies to ensure each student has one of their own, which doesn’t always happen.
An eBook reader app eliminates this limitation and ensures that every student has their own copy of the material to learn from and take notes on. This can come in very handy with group discussions and other collaborative projects.
Further, the app should allow users to upload fresh content to share with other learners.
Access to a Wide Range of Learning Materials
Holistic learning only happens when students rely on more than just one textbook, and this is where it helps to have a large resource of material available for students to download and learn from; an eLibrary of sorts. These must be segregated on the basis of the age-group they target.
Often, educators can add reference links to existing eBooks.
The integration of technology in the field of education is here to stay, and it’s only bound to improve over the years. However, for an eReader app to make a mark in a competitive market, it must offer certain features that make the learning experience equitable and intuitive.
As mentioned above, some of these key features include the following:
- The presence of an intuitive and interactive user interface
- The ability to function across multiple platforms
- Features that allow for customization, especially for students who are differently-abled
- Online collaboration tools that eliminate the limitations of geographical boundaries
- Access to a wide range of additional learning material
Encompassing all the features mentioned, KITABOO truly provides students with a comprehensive alternative to the traditional pen-and-paper approach to learning.
To know more, write to us at KITABOO@hurix.com.
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