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Old 01-25-2007, 10:54 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Dutch school to launch iRex iLiad experiment

We've received word from MobileReader Martijn that the Dutch school Bonnefanten College will run an e-paper experiment this February. Initiated by Edupaper, the project will involve a bunch of students who will upload a selection of their school textbooks and homework notes to an iRex iLiad e-reader device. There are some more details available, and we invite our Dutch friends to provide us with a translation for it (trust me, you don't want to hear the nonsense Babelfish came up with).
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Old 01-25-2007, 07:30 PM   #2
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The students will have to upload their textbooks? That seems odd.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:06 AM   #3
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I imagine the author meant to say "download". This should be interesting. I'd love to try something like this with one of my university "English" classes.. only something with sound support would be excellent (read an e-book and listen to the sample phrases / sentences)...
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:11 AM   #4
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This is the first e-paper trial in a university I've heard of. I hope it works out and generates more demand, increase production rates and drop the price. @_@' Heh.

On a related topic, I predict tablet PCs will finally, after spending years outside the mainstream in niche markets, come into their own and start shipping in serious volume in the next year or two. Intel's Santa Rosa platform should enable a lot more time unplugged, and HSPDA and 802.11.n will also help with mobility. I've been hearing how several universities are requiring freshmen to purchase tablets.

The things a tablet can do E-ink can't are full color, video, sound, and digitizer and keyboard input. Highlighting and page marking key sentences or scribbling notes in the margin sounds pretty attractive. The only real drawbacks of the displays in tablets are outdoor visibility and the easiness on the eyes. At least, that's how I see it.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:05 AM   #5
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I guess that this is one of the b-to-b applications that iRex is spending all their resources on. Hopefully it will be a success!
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:10 AM   #6
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Ok, let's see if I can manage a translation:

Start Translation:
Project "3 ounce backpack" starts in februari
Press release 23 januari 2007

Schoolchildren will be able to spare their backs
The company Edupaper.nl from Maastricht will ensure that, very soon, schoolchildren will no longer have to lug around backpacks of 10 kilograms or more.
A project in the Bonnefantencollege in Maastricht will start in februari where, for the first time in history, children will be using electronic paper during class. The electronic paper is an invention of E-ink and Philips and is produced by the firm iRex based in Eindhoven.

Pictures: Currently a 10kg backpack, later a 3 ounce bag.

Easy use of hundreds of digital books
This device, with the name Edupaper, has the size of half an A4 and can store all schoolbooks (of all courses and all years!) and users can read them digitally.
Thanks to a new technique using electronic blobs of ink the screen reads as easy as paper, has no reflections, and the text can even be read in full sunlight!
In contrast to laptops the device will not heat up, its weight is negligible and the battery will last for 15 hours.
This makes the use of the device during class a lot easier.
This technology will disturb the educational process less than laptops would do.
Thanks to a touchscreen the students can make notes in their digital books and, in contrast to paper, any mistakes in these notes can be easily removed.
Every course will use one big PDF document which contains both the theory book and the exercise book like the ELO Dokeos (a electronic learning environment).
Handwritten notes can be stored and converted automatically to a Word document on the PC.
Multiple choice tests can be made and automatically graded by the central computer.
It is also possible to fill in open questions in a special form, after which they can be send to the teacher. Thereby the teacher does not have to lug around with a big stack of papers.
Every morning and evening there will be a synchronization with the central computer to make a backup and to exchange new information.
There will be an experiment with the use of newspapers. The application of current news in the classes could prevent "disreading".
A financial contribution has been requested from the province of Limburg for this project.

The price of the package of books can decrease 300,- E per year
Cooperation with several publishers, like ThiemeMeulenhoff is going on.
It is expected that the Edupaper will reduce the current price of books with 30% because of savings on printing costs and logistics.
Because China and India have been using more and more paper it is expected that the price of paper will rise as quickly as the price of energy.
This leads to increased savings, which could mean E 300,- per year for an average family with two children!
This is very interesting, especially since the politicians are heavily discussing free educational books.

Contribution to solving the climate problem
This solution can also provide an enormous benefit to the reduction of CO2, which will reduce global warming.
Currently 70% of all forests are cut down to produce paper.

Numerous solutions unrelated to education
Edupaper.nl is a company that provides services for mobile devices and is the first company to specialize in providing and applying electronic paper in educational processes, knowledge management and the innovation of organisations (paperless office etc.).
The average civil servant uses 58 kilograms of paper per year, which equates to E 630,- of printing costs. So substantial savings are possible.

Will e-paper cause a revolution in education?
Article for the magazine Onderwijs innovatie, december 2006, see http://www.ou.nl/eCache/DEF/15/152.html

By Frits Hoff
The author is project manager at the Open Universiteit Nederland and director at Edupaper and Dokeos Nederland

...

End translation

Some notes:
Sorry, my english is usually better, but it is hard to translate a text truthfully and still produce good english. Especially when the quality of the dutch is low (for a press release that is).

Okay for the more constructive notes:
Although it is called "Bonnefantencollege" it is actually a high school, not a university. Dutch high schools often stick "college" to their name.

I don't see anything about downloading or uploading books, I guess they come pre-installed or fall under the "synchronizing with the central computer".

The "unreading" mentioned in the text refers, I guess, to the problem that less and less teenagers read newspapers and books.

I did not translate the last part of the site since the part after "Will e-paper cause a revolution in education?" is from an article in an educational magazine and has no direct bearing on the project. If people are interested I can still translate it.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for the translation, Martijn. I also found this translation online:

http://www.dcviews.com/press/Imaging-Edupaper.htm
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:22 AM   #8
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Ah, I should have looked around a bit before starting to translate
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