Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

Ebook Reading Devices In The Primary School Setting

Dr Kurt Lushington.

Ebook reading devices are small portable electronic devices with wireless capacity and LCD screens that enable large amounts of text to be digitally downloaded, stored and displayed. Such devices offer the potential for the easy distribution of teaching material to students and a new learning environment with possible implications for teaching and learning. Ebook reading devices have been partially evaluated in graduate and postgraduate students but have yet to be examined in primary school students. To address this we undertook a pilot study involving upper primary students aged 9-12y and their teachers. We sampled students with physical disability in a distance education program delivered at home (n=3)—who received the complete texts for an IT course—and three groups of students in mainstream schooling; those with intellectual and/or physical disability (n=7) and Year 5-6 (n=20) students—who received selected texts for a literacy course—and Year 6-7 students who received general reading texts (n=26). The reading material was specially selected by teachers according to course requirements and preloaded onto a greyscale REB1200 ebook reading device. Students and teachers were interviewed at the completion of the trial regarding acceptance of the technology and any issues arising. Students were enthusiastic adopters of the ebook reading device and all reported that the reading experience was positive. Teachers reported few administrative problems and that the software (eg word highlighting, word searching, etc) and physical (eg page turning with a button, easy access to all readings in one device, etc) features of the ebook reading device allowed students to progress faster through material. This was especially the case in students with disability. These preliminary findings suggest that ebook have reading devices potential utility in the primary school environment.


Dr Kurt Lushington  (Australia)
Senior lecturer
School of Psychology
University of South Australia

Dr Kurt Lushington teaches postgraduate students in psychology and counselling and is interested in new medias for teaching and learning

  • Ebook reading device
  • Primary school students
  • Primary school teachers

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)