Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Will Amazon Kindle Change Education?

Amazon.com is touting their new product, the Amazon Kindle, as the most revolutionary device since the wheel. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but the device is clearly meant to make waves for the company. Is it worth the $400 price tag?

It sounds like a great device. You can access more than 88,000 books for $9.99, read more than 250 top blogs, and enjoy unlimited access to Wikipedia.

Sony had a similar idea with their reader product. Where the Kindle expands on Sony's idea is in the way you access new material. All of this comes wirelessly to your unit via the same technology that your cell phone uses, so you never need to find a hot spot to find new content.

I think this will be a wildly popular item for people who are on the go and don't want to carry a library with them to keep in touch with the latest news and blogs.

I also think that with some tweaking, it could have tremendous potential for educational applications. Imagine if students could each be given such a device. Their Kindle would contain all of the textbooks for the year, as well as any other novels or books being discussed. They could be given access to newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals to peruse up to the second information. I'm sure with some tweaking, the unit could even be made to receive news and announcements relevant to the school district. If all of this were available to the students at school or at home via the cell signal, it could really change the way we deliver information to our students.

This is definitely a piece of technology I will be watching with excitement!

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised no one has yet commented on this idea! It was one of the first things that occurred to me when I read about the Kindle. Every day I see kids who look like tiny sherpas with their loads of books. Textbook companies could benefit as well-- costs of paper and shipping, gone; advertising would be as simple as making pages available through Amazon ... Amazon could even market a slightly larger Kindle for children, so that pictures would fit on the screen better, or create a special education network with everything for each grade. Really exciting stuff!

    The big drawback is the $400 price tag. A lot of us can't afford it.


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