The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Study Puts E-Ink to the Test

One of the selling points of a dedicated electronic reader is the belief that E Ink is better for a reader’s eyes than the LCD screens used in tablet computers. Now, researchers from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, have released a study suggesting it might actually be easier to read on the LCD screen, and that retention of reading material is the same no matter how the reading is done.

A group of 57 Generation-Xers and senior citizens were tested using an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine to measure brain activity while the reading. The tests showed that while Gen-X readers used slightly less energy to read on a tablet than an e-reader or paper book, the senior citizens clearly spent less energy and time reading on the tablet.

Both test groups also showed a slightly higher error rate in answering questions after using either an e-reader or tablet device, although the researchers considered the rate small enough to be insignificant.

“Here we have a study that suggests digital textbooks are not better for students,” wrote Note Hoffelder in his blog post on The Digital Reader. “It’s a pity that this probably won’t slow down the mad dash towards the next hot trend.”

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