But there’s a lot of potential once and if students do share hardware, particularly when it comes to e-readers and e-books. As we noted in our recent coverage of Highlighter, we’re seeing lots of ways to mark up content, make notes in the margins, and share or save these electronically. But there’s also the potential for real-time interaction, within the e-book itself, where readers can hold discussions within the text and within the app itself. That may seem like anathema to the idea of the solitary reading experience. And critics will point out that the social aspect create distractions from reading. But we can also argue that the social element can add depth to the understanding of what’s being read, just as book clubs do. Peers can help define words and concepts that are sometimes hard to grasp when reading alone.
There’s a BIG difference between social experiences that happen after reading and those that happen before and during reading. For good or ill.