The Kindle Debate

KindleThe controversy surrounding the Kindle has now hit classrooms.  When the Kindle first came to our office, some people swore by it and others said they would never use one.  Few of us fell in the middle- everyone seemed to have a definitive opinion.  Now schools are testing the Kindle for both financial and health reasons.  However, the feedback hasn’t been universally positive.  As discussed (briefly) in this article, the Kindle is not always conducive to note taking or page marking.  Perhaps over time students will find a way to work around this, and essentially create a new way of studying.  On the other hand, they may just decide that working with paper is still the most effective way to study.

What do you think?  Does the future of books lie in the Kindle?


6 Responses to The Kindle Debate

  1. As a formerly reluctant, but now totally converted Kindle user, I would like to weigh in. I am a book lover, the kind who likes the feel, smell and presence of a book in my hands. That was on the con side. But I finally broke down and got a kindle when I was about to go on a two week vacation and didn’t want to carry the 5 books I would probably read. There were many unexpected consequences. I started to read much more. It was easier to carry my kindle than most books, so I took it everywhere with me. i didn’t delay in finishing a book because I didn’t know what I was going to read next. Knowing I didn’t have to find a bookstore (more and more scarce) or wait until an Amazon order arrived, I plowed through the ending and moved on to a new book much faster. When people recommended books I could download them rather than write them on a scrap of paper that I soon misplaced, so I found I had a steady stream of recommended reading rather than picking up, and discarding, the wrong book when I couldn’t think of a new choice.

    Similarly, I believe that the Kindle in the classroom will have many unintended consequences. Students won’t have to haul heavy books in backpacks, which caused health concerns. To the same point, schools won’t have to invest in a second set of books to avoid requiring students to carry the books to and from school. I believe that the kindle in schools will also result in more reading – for example, because students won’t have to wait until their peers are done with a selection to begin it, and the overall instant gratification inherent in a system where books are readily available.

  2. Laila says:

    There’s a time and a place for everything… and in terms of technology, society will figure out what the rules are (hopefully!). Just as young professionals are finding out Facebook may not be the best place to post Friday-night pictures, students will figure out Kindle might not be conducive to some subjects, but may be perfect for others.

    I think it’s hard for us (a generation that grew up without Kindle) to know how children will adapt… My two-year-old friend knows how to scroll through pictures on an iPhone ~ he’s developing an ability to make sense of images on a screen and he’ll probably retain information from screens better than I do now. I remember having to print out essays in order to edit them, now (to save time and paper) I do 90% of my editing at the computer…

  3. Karen Holloman says:

    I say yes to the Kindle. My 15 year old has had his for almost a year now and would not be without it. In addition to getting a book when he wants or needs it, it is easy to carry anywhere. he still has plenty of regular books. Somehow his cartoon books like Dilbert, he doesn’t want to read on his Kindle. Plus since his school does not have the option yet, he still gets to carr his 40 lbs of school books back and forth every day.

  4. Jeannie says:

    Any electronic tool may be helpful if used regularly and integrated into the learning experience. Today we see many schools provide lap tops and PDAs as part of their curriculum.

    As far as reading of fiction and non-fiction school assignments to suppliment the academic experience, Kindle is a great tool now under most circumstances. Normally this type of reading assignment in past required visit to local library or bookstore to complete that type of reading assignment.

    For use instead of hardcopy textbooks or magazines or periodicals, public and private schools K-12 will have to make “Kindle” books available for all students which is a cost for Kindle and subsequent purchases that must be considered. Are those books available via internet on maybe students’ laptops? Also the Kindle or like model or tool should be usable by those with some learning needs both audio and visual.

    For college aged students, there is always the need to buy many new textbooks because of a new versions published each semester, which may have a one word change from prior version. It is hard to know if this is marketing tactic of college textbook publishers and what their relationship will be with Kindle and other like models.

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