Tablet Learning

AP English Class Gets Hooked on Nooks

One Advanced Placement English Literature class is swapping books for Nooks, and the tablets are revolutionizing the way students are preparing for their AP exam.

There's something surprising missing from Shannon Henson's Advanced Placement English Literature class: books. The Scott High School class was recently awarded a Learning Links grant through The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to purchase four new Nook Colors, adding to their existing set of 15.

Nooks, Barnes and Noble’s e-book readers, are revolutionizing the way the AP English Literature students prepare for their exam in May.

"Before, I didn’t really read, but now I’m on my Nook every night reading," said Brittany Davis, a student in the high school class in Taylor Mill, KY. Those enrolled in the course have found that the ease and efficiency of the e-readers has improved not only the amount of time they spend reading, but their understanding of the literature.

"It makes it easier to understand and read books because all the tools you need are on your Nook," said student Sydnie Heisler.

Because of the Nook's WiFi capabilities, students can download books directly to the device and begin reading immediately. Students can also annotate, highlight, and save important passages while they read. With a dictionary, a number of downloadable apps, and a built-in web browser, the Nook is a multipurpose tool that goes beyond reading.

Students are also saving money. Since a majority of the books read throughout the AP course are in the public domain, they are free to download. This provides a wider range of literature for the students to read--the class is no longer limited by the existing class book sets. If the class decides to read a book that does carry a cost, Nooks will allow the book to be downloaded on six devices. This means a class of 30 would only need to purchase five books.

"I think using these e-readers helps my students realize they should have every means available to them," said Henson, who, along with school librarian Lisa Marshall, applied for the grant. Both hope to acquire a full class set of 30 Nook Colors, which would accommodate the entire class.

The e-readers are just one example of the new technology Scott is utilizing--iPads and iPod Touches are also making their way into the hands of staff and students. The technology is improving the overall efficiency and learning with in the school, which is currently undergoing renovations and expansion.

"I’ve been teaching for five years," Henson said, "and I’ve never seen students so excited to read. I’ve never been so sure students are reading outside of the classroom."

About the Author

Jake Ewing is a student and public relations intern at Scott High School in Taylor Mill, KY.