Judy O’Connell has written an interesting description of the e-book reader Kindle which is now (at long last!) available in Australia. She not only explains how to use the Kindle, but also talks about some of its benefits for teachers and students.
I found this particularly interesting because I’ve been curious about e-book readers for quite a while. A good friend of mine who is a writer has recently bought a Kindle and he swears by it. Unfortunately he lives too far away for me to drop round to his place and try it out, so at this stage I’m still a Kindle virgin.
However, I had only thought about Kindle (and other e-book readers such as Apple’s newly lauched iPad) in terms of what use they would be to me as a reader. Judy O’Connell’s piece points out some of the possibilities of its use in schools as a teaching tool, something I hadn’t yet considered.
The points I found most interesting and relevant to me, both as a teacher and a learner, are:
- Kindle is easy on the eyes. I find it difficult to read large amounts of text (eg. readings for my TL studies) on the computer. This may be because of the way I have my computer set up, or it may be because of the LCD screen on my laptop.
- It has the capacity to highlight text and take notes. (I want to know more about that function. How good would that be for all my readings for uni!) It also has a dictionary function built into it. Both these functions would be a boon for working with students.
- Many of the books that can be read on Kindle have an audio function, that is, they are text-to-speech enable. As Judy O’Connell points out, what potential for students who need reading support.
Now I just have to find someone close by who has a Kindle (or an iPad) and try one out.
I’m adding Judy O’Connell’s blog to my blogroll and my Google Reader.
Have you used an e-book reader of some sort with your students? What have you discovered about its’ pros and cons both as a teaching and a learning tool?