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Poll: Children embracing e-books

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
New York (UPI) Sep 29, 2010
Children would read for fun more often if they could obtain e-books, but two-thirds say they still wouldn't give up traditional print books, a poll indicates.

In a study by Scholastic, the American publisher of the Harry Potter books and the "Hunger Games" trilogy, about 25 percent of the children surveyed said they had already read a book on a digital device, while 57 percent of those ages 9 to 17 said they were interested in doing so, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The report was "a call to action," one Scholastic executive said.

"I didn't realize how quickly kids had embraced this technology," Francie Alexander, the chief academic officer at Scholastic, said of e-readers and other portable devices that can download books. "Clearly they see them as tools for reading -- not just gaming, not just texting. They see them as an opportunity to read."

A senior fellow at the George Lucas Educational Foundation agreed.

"The very same device that is used for socializing and texting and staying in touch with their friends can also be turned for another purpose," Milton Chen said. "That's the hope."

earlier related report
Washington Post, NY Times, Gannett invest in news aggregator
Washington (AFP) Sept 29, 2010 - A news aggregator startup announced on Wednesday it has received 12 million dollars in funding from The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today publisher Gannett Co.

The startup, Cupertino, California-based Ongo, said it plans to launch a "consumer service for reading and sharing digital news and information from multiple publishers" before the end of the year.

"We are building Ongo to reflect the many ways consumers prefer to read, organize and share digital news," Ongo founder and chief executive Alex Kazim said in a statement.

"We're gratified three such influential media companies recognize the value of what Ongo is creating, and we look forward to opening our doors soon," Kazim said.

A former president of eBay's Skype subsidiary, Kazim has also served as head of marketing and business operations for PayPal and held senior engineering and management positions at Apple and other technology firms.

The Washington Post said the three companies had invested four million dollars each in the venture.

US newspapers have been seeking new revenue streams and Web products amid a steady decline in print advertising revenue and circulation.

The New York Times plans to begin charging readers for full access to its website,, early next year and the Times Co., like other newspaper companies, is developing news applications for devices such as the iPad.

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Japan to pilot digital textbooks in classrooms
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 24, 2010
Japan will soon start trialling electronic textbooks in primary schools, enhancing the role of IT in the classroom for a generation of "digital natives" born in the wired age. Under the "future school" project, 10 elementary schools will give all their under-12 pupils tablet PCs and fit their classrooms with interactive electronic blackboards starting as early as next month. The networke ... read more

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