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What a College Student Journalist Wants From a Barnes and Noble Microsoft Nook Product

Microsoft, and college bookstores purchased from Barnes and Nobel have joined together to hopefully offer new E-reader capabilities—this is what I want from such a consortium.

Many software products allow you to highlight features. But I want to be able to tag each feature with a single keystroke according to a self-identified organization rule. I.e. I want to highlight a feature and say, this is a definition or a date, or this is about a person, or this is about a country, or this is about a world problem. Pre-built tags are wonderful, too. And I want to be able to use that data, especially in my word processor or spreadsheet.

E-Textbook Text File Creation from Highlighted Material on E-Readers Like NOOK

I’d like to be able to see all the textbook highlighted material for any of the tags I assigned to the information in a single list. Often I want to remember a set of important people that made contributions, key events that occurred, and list out the definitions that I should remember. I want to be able to cut and paste from the list into my essays and use them as footnotes or as quotes.

E-Textbook Definition Flash Cards on E-Readers Like NOOK

Recently I found that while studying Spanish that I could cycle through a list of Spanish words, hear a pronunciation and find the definition. This was helpful for allowing me to practice my oral skills and test my understanding outside of the classroom.

E-Textbook Date, Definition or Person Match Up Test on E-Readers Like NOOK

Doing tests that match a name with their contribution or words with a definition or date with an event with a keyword are also helpful for test preparation i.e. why was the war of 1940-5 important?

E-Textbook Copy and Paste of a Fact from a Textbook into an Essay as a Footnote on E-Readers Like NOOK

Part of having the facts and data at your fingertips in cut and paste mode enables quick and easy use of data that can help your arguments in an essay, without controlling the flow of your thinking.

For me, learning from a textbook has involved knowing :

1) what was important information

 2) finding ways to find the information when I needed it, and

 3) finding ways to organize the material so that I understood the information conveyed.

Information comes in many pieces and parts and means different things to different people.  Often the history of how information was constructed in via scientific means was of less importance than understanding how to test information, or the ordering of information. But everyone learns differently, so helpful aids combined with the latest in information combined with an ability to organize and use data has to be the most wonderful gift anyone could give a student of life.

I hope that instead of just offering one more electronic device that consumers are encouraged to buy, NewCo will offer up additional functionality. But maybe I’m just dreaming.

[1] http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2012/Apr12/04-30CorpNews.aspx

[2] http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403747,00.asp

[3] http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403376,00.asp

[4] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137492/Barnes–Noble-Nook-Microsoft-puts-300m-catch-Apples-iPad-Amazons-Kindle.html

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