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The Nook: An Efficiency Portal at the Lehigh Bookstore

Lehigh University is taking a look into the future - our future as students, professors, faculty and staff in an increasingly digital age. The Lehigh University Bookstore recently began to sell Barnes and Nobles popular e-book reader, the Nook, and Lehigh’s LTS department launched two projects to gain insight on the integration of tablets into the academic environment. As members of higher education, we hope that this technology will advance learning and enable students to reach their full potential. As we step further into the digital world, the Nook offers a simple, affordable way to facilitate productivity and enhance learning during students’ academic careers.

The Nook fits perfectly into the life of a student. Both the Nook Simple and the Nook Color are light-weight, easily portable devices, which is especially important to the nomadic student. Nook Color allows students to easily check emails and access the internet on the go without having to lug a laptop up and down Lehigh’s beautiful, but mountainous campus. The Nook’s battery life also fits into students’ active lifestyle. The Nook Color has an eight hour battery life and the Nook Simple has a two month battery life (based on 1 hour of reading per day) before it needs to be recharged. It is imperative that students have tools that are convenient in a mobile state. At a mere 15.8 ounces, The Nook Color is the ideal tool.

The Nook Simple was used to access readings in an English I class taught by Abby Aldrich during the Fall 2011 semester at Lehigh University. The class read The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls and an assortment of other articles and essays. Aldrich found that the annotation features (highlighting, bookmarking, making notes) to be most useful to students. She also found it beneficial that students could access an online dictionary to look up words they did not understand in the text and easily find passages in the book using the search feature. Most students found that the Nook was easy to use, even if they were originally uncomfortable with eBook technology. Having the ability to easily highlight a textbook and makes notes right next to a passage is an invaluable time saver that can increase students’ efficiency of studying and writing papers. These features also allow students to quickly have access to their personal notes on certain areas of the book, which will aid their performance during class discussion. This type of efficiency is invaluable to all students juggling the multitude of components that college life brings.

The Nook Color also grants students access to a multitude of apps that can help students improve their academic performance. There are apps for news, increasing productivity and a number of apps that are focused toward individual majors and fields of interest. The free Wiki Invest Portfolio App can be utilized by business students interested in finance, while the free Evernote app can be used as a digital note book and the free Spring Pad App can help create things to do lists. The Nook offers an affordable way to gain access to free resources.

The Nook is a portal to an unlimited amount of resources that students can use to enhance their productivity and facilitate their classroom endeavors. In an increasingly digital world students that take advantage of these tools are gaining an edge over those that do not. The Lehigh University Bookstore (http://lehigh.bncollege.com) offers the Nook, an affordable tablet at only $199 for the Nook Color and $99 for the Nook Simple that allows students to break into tablets without adding to a huge expense.