Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why a Blog on eReaders, eBooks, and iPads?

I just returned from the educational technology (eTech) conference in Columbus, Ohio overflowing with new theories and applications for using technology in education, but I have to say that the one word that keeps rising to the surface of my thoughts is “choko.”  Phill Nosworthy, an Austrailan thought leader for Beyond Chalk (, spoke about the choko (probably similar to the American zucchini), which can be a substitute or filler that is used in cooking/baking because the choko takes on the flavor of the foods that it is combined with.

Phill used the choko as a metaphor for teachers (and librarians) because we often take on the “flavor” of the environment that we “stew” in.  This can be a positive thing because it can provide a sense of community and combined purpose, but it can also be problematic if our theory/teaching/thinking becomes so similar that we lose sight of alternate perspectives.

This choko metaphor struck a chord with me.  Many years ago, I remember asking permission from my principal if the school library could host a slightly controversial young adult author.  When I listed some potential concerns, the response I received was…. “Sometimes you just need to take a risk.”  In other words, I was given the permission and grace to fail.  What a sense of freedom that offered, and it also opened up creative opportunities.

I’ve often thought of that moment, especially when I’m making difficult decisions.  I must admit, there have been many times that I have been the “choko” who blends in or takes on the flavor of what’s popular, easy, or “safe,” while ignoring that unique and creative seasoning I can add to the “stew,”  but…there are other times that I resist taking on the flavor of the ordinary and risk failure.  I’m thankful that I have supportive administrators in my district, who have encouraged me this past year to take a risk and embark on the journey of piloting and implementing eReaders and iPads in the high school and middle school libraries as well as write about the successes and failures; so far it’s been an exciting path.

So…why the blog?  In others words…I’m finally getting to my purpose statement ;-)

  • To chronicle the implementation and use of eReader devices, iPads, and eBooks in the high school library.
  • To compile any research data and interpretation that results from my experience or any studies that I conduct with eBooks/eReaders.
  • To provide a resource of current information for other librarians or technology/media coordinators who want to learn more about using eReaders, iPads, and eBooks in the library and classroom.
  • To connect with others who know much more than I do about mobile devices and learn from their expertise.  


  1. Hi, Happy to have found you from the Salem Library Blog Award list. We have six Kindles, one Nook Color and I just ordered six more Kindles for next year. We also have 19 iPod Touches with the Kindle app so we're trying lots of things too. Keep up the blogging.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I'm working on creating more time to blog; I really enjoy it so far. Your blog is very well done and creative, and I would love to hear more about your use of eReaders in the library. Do you have any entries that specifically talk about your use of the Kindles, Nook, and iPods, and why you chose a variety of devices?

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