We liked the options that are available to kindle users and the look and feel of the Kindles but it was mainly that for our library (and with how the firewalls are set up in our school) it was simply the easiest option to buy e-books when you have the 3G option.
There are some great places to go where the merits are discussed.
Kerry Smith (Education Services Australia) has been a very interesting voice discussing all things e-book/readers for a whie now. HerSome piece by her include and article in SCIS connections.
After a reading a post from Kerry I began to follow TeleReads, an e-book blog. It often has interesting ideas put up for discussion.
The eduKindle (Kindle for educators) site is also a good place for information and discussion
We have purchased a few kindles and are trialling them with our senior students this term. There will be enough for each student of our year 11 literature class to borrow one.
One reason we decided to try e-books was that it would be a good way to make sure that we had a lot of the classic titles available to our students. Many of these titles should be available but may only be read once every one or two years at the most. We are short of space in our library and these titles take up a good deal of space and that along with the expense of purchasing a book that yellows etc. (making it unattractive to prospective readers after a while) made the e-book seem like a good idea.
Another thing I liked was that if we don’t have a book that a student is very keen to read, I will be able to check of an eook version and order it and have it available within minutes. Last year I had a few cases where a student wanted one of the classics and I send off an order that took 3-4 weeks to finally arrive. One boy was very keen to read it and had already purchased his own copy before the library could offer it to him.
Based on very early feedback e-books seemed to offer other advantages.
- Students who are influenced by the size (number of pages) of the books now can now choose stories based on the content/style of the story and will read through them because the content is of interest.
- Boys who have eyesight problems can simple change the size of the font rather than have a “large print” book.
- Our boys don’t like to stand out as “different” so the e-book helps with this We also have boys for whom English is a second language (ESL). These boys, and some others who have learning difficulties, can listen to audio whist they are reading. This will help them improve their reading skills and develop a better understanding about pronunciation.
- The dictionary option is also great for the boys so they can easily and in an instant check on the definition of an unfamiliar word.
The boys in the literature class are happy to give us more feedback after they have spent more time using them. They plan to use a number of the feature availbl;e to them to respond to their books. I will post about their comments later in the term
We catalogued each Kindle separately.
Each of the e-readers was given a name, kindle#1, kindle#2 and so on, and then each was given a College barcode identity. The kindles could then be processed as any other library book/resource.
We have a library system that allows us to catalogue using a “table of contents” (TOC) option. In the past we have been put in author, title and subjects for the contents of a book that contains a collection of stories or speeches for instance. These are all added into separate fields and students can then search the catalogue via title, author or subject of each of the stories as well as the collective title. Any new e-book title downloaded from Amazon is added to the applicable Kindle device’s TOC.
Each new book title has “(kindle)” added to the end of the book title to make it really obvious to the searcher that it is an e-book version.
So far things seem to be working as we would like.
Everyone who has been using hte e-reader has become very enamoured of it. However beware……
Of course C’mon People, It’s Not Rocket Science – Don’t Kindle And Drive
Filed under: Education, Library2.0, literature, Reading | Tagged: e-book readers, e-books, Kindles | Leave a comment »