Sunday, November 6, 2011

Kindle News

I am sure that you are aware by now of Amazon's new Kindles.  The $79 Kindle is a great deal for schools.  I still prefer the Kindle Keyboard at $99, but students will move seamlessly into the new touch environment.  Here again is a short list of the pluses of Kindles for the classroom:
  • Cool factor - many non-readers get hooked 
  • Energy consumption - 1 charge lasts up to 2 weeks
  • Bang for the buck -
    • $10 book can be loaded onto 6 Kindles
    • New Kindles can contain well over 2,000 titles
    • Free books - most classics
    • $.99 books
    • 1-year replacement warranty
  • Reading support -
    • Text-to-speech (not available for all books)
    • On-board dictionary (locate-to-lookup)
    • Wikipedia look-up (with wifi on)
    • Font variability
    • Landscape or Portrait views
    • Bookmarking and note-taking/underlining
    • New Kindle Fire (color) 
  • Kindle book sharing (14-day) -
  • Vocabulary games (free)
  • Purchasing advantages -
    • Speed of purchase (with credit card)
    • Ease of download
  • Educational support -
    • Sharing of notes/printing
    • Laptop integration
    • Sharing .pdf and .doc files via email
    • Kindle on Mac / iTouch / iPhone / iPod / iPad - sharing and synching with free apps - same for the PC
    • .mp3 playing (audiobooks)
    • magazines and newspapers too!
  •  Students like:
    • Size and weight
    • Immediate access to new books (once purchased)
    • Cool factor (especially true with new Touch format and books downloaded to smart phones)

On the other hand: Here is a fun little read to share with students: "The Future of Books - a Dystopian Timeline."  Is this a case of "it can't happen here" or it is a case of "we have met the enemy..."??

By the way: 
  • Amazon has a new service: Kindle LoansIf you have a Prime membership with Amazon ($79/year and worth it if you purchase a lot: free shipping), then you can borrow eBooks for free, one at a time.  If you are a school with Kindles and an account, consider spending the $79.  Every registered Kindle device can participate in this program.  Currently, attractive titles include: The Hunger Games trilogy and lots of vampire books.  You can also borrow most of the Galaxy Project short stories and novellas (read my description).
  • Amazon Student is a special membership level.  It requires a .edu email address.  This membership also makes you eligible for the eBook Kindle Loan program.  If you can wrangle a .edu email address, setting up the account is worth it. 
  • Amazon has the below $.99 titles available.  If you have classroom Kindles, or an Amazon account of your own, you should read these guides (or have your librarian read them).

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