Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More thoughts on Amazon Kindle...

It seems everywhere I went today, Amazon's Kindle was calling my name. From the Newsweek magazine in the school library to half a dozen different online articles lurking in the RSS feeds above my Gmail account, I couldn't keep the Kindle out of my mind. I still can't help but think that this could really be a paradigm changing device.

I teach at a K-8 public school. Due to some issues last year, we no longer allow backpacks during the day. Due to a "new and improved" schedule which only allows 1 minute between classes, we also no longer allow students to visit lockers between classes. Students are restricted to visiting their lockers once in the morning, once at lunch, and once at the end of the day. This means students are carrying all of their books for each half of the day. Imagine if students had all of their textbooks on the Kindle!

Naturally the $400 price tag makes the Kindle a little prohibitive for most schools to outfit students with them. However, I'm sure the price will come down eventually. Also, consider the amount of money spent on textbooks that will quickly become worn and out of date. Not to mention the copying paper which could be saved if students could access reading material from their Kindle at their desks and at home. If the Kindle could be programmed to receive messages from the school district (maybe via an RSS feed, which the Kindle supports), it could also hold all of the information that we try to send home in homeroom every morning. This would undoubtedly save hundreds of dollars in paper each year.

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to see schools trading in their textbooks for Kindles en masse. But I do see some great potential in the future. If the Kindle reaches a point where the price comes down, the screen goes color, and it can still access all of that information free and via wireless, I can really see schools starting to come on board.

I can't wait.

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