Kindle @ school?

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?

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About robynstlreflections

I never expected to become a teacher. After graduating from Sydney Univeristy with a BA (Hons), I worked for a couple of years before "going bush". When I started working as a governess I discovered that I enjoyed teaching, so studied for a Grad Dip Ed. After teaching in public schools in the Northern Territory for two years then in Queensland for 10 more, I moved back to NSW with my family in 2009. Now it's time for a change in direction. I've always enjoyed introducing my students discover the joys of literature and I'm excited by the educational possibilities developing in the digital world. So in 2010 I've begun studying by Distance Education for a Masters in Education in Teacher Librarianship with Charles Sturt University.
This entry was posted in ETL503 Resourcing the Curriculum, Teacher Librarian (general) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Kindle @ school?

  1. Hi, I bought myself a Kindle, and I would love to do my course reading on it, but there are a few problems with this idea, as I understand it…

    The Kindle uses a proprietary format that our readings aren’t available in.

    The Kindle will display PDF, but it has to go through the Amazon website and they have a pretty fiercely worded statement about owning the copyright of any document you send through their conversion service.

    You could read the readings online via the Kindle but the Kindle wifi system isn’t wifi as we know it so much as the information is sent over the telephone system, and unless you’re in the USA, there’s a fee for using it. I keep my wifi turned off and download my books via USB connection.

    Anyway, I also swear by my Kindle and I think that our Learning Support Department is getting one for some of our students to use.

  2. Thanks for your comment Kelly.
    I know there are issues with the Kindle such as the ones you mention, though I didn’t know about the PDFs having to go through Amazon. Will have to check that out further.
    How do you find the Kindle for reading, as opposed to reading on a computer screen in general? I’m trying to get away from printing out the info I want to read (especially for uni), but when I’m reading large slabs of info onscreen I find it very tiring on the eyes and I’m more apt to feel sleepy than when I read print.
    Also curious to know how your LS department goes with one for your students.

  3. Peta says:

    On a similar note to Kindle & e readers I have just discovered Nintendo DS FLIPS – there are currently 4 series out from memory but you can check them out online. http://nintendodsflips.com/
    As I work only with P-2 the only one really suitable for my students was the Enid Blyton Faraway tree series. Others include Artemis Fowl , Cathy Cassidy series, Too Ghoul for School & Percy Jackson. These would be very popular with middle -upper primary grades. Kmart had them for $20 ($16 on special ) which makes them cheaper than many books. The Enid Blyton volume had six books which could all be read on DS or DSi or new DSi XL with a few links to pictures & a few tokens to collect along way but otherwise mostly good old reading – no games in sight! You can wirelessly send a demo chapter to another Ds so effectively 2 chn can read from one disc.

    We also have in our library 2 Leapfrog Tag readers which the Year 1 ‘s & 2’s love! Especially the Ben 10 & Star Wars titles – but you can also get Click Clack Moo, Olivia, Cat in the Hat & more!! (25 titles) They can read along & listen to one page , whole story, play games based on pictures/text (comprehension)or read independetly and use wand to decipher unknown words. You can track progress by connecting wand back to PC. See more at http://microsite.leapfrog.com/tag_qe/index.html

    Interactive reading for little people!!

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