Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kindles in the High School

My local public high school, Clearwater High, will be getting rid of all of their print textbooks and going to an ereader next year. They will be purchasing an ereader for all their faculty and students the St. Pete Times reported yesterday. It appeared that Kindle had the lead, but the story did mention that they had to go to bid and had not settled on a vendor yet.

The story only makes a vague reference to the independent school that got rid of the books in its library, saying only: "A Massachusetts boarding school recently made waves by completely digitizing its library."

I think that moving to etextbooks is where ereaders are appropriate technology. However, I'm not sure that we're at the point where we can completely support etextbooks on an ereader and I hope that the principal has researched whether Amazon has all the textbooks he uses available on the Kindle. There have been problems with highlighting and notetaking with the Kindles, so this will be an interesting experiment to follow. It is a bit worrisome that they are taking a one-size fits all approach to this problem though. [Additional info: The Tampa Tribune has a more informative article and explains that they are doing the texts in stages with Math and English first.]

As one commenter wrote: "Kindles, Nooks, and the like are great tools, but I am not sure they are 504 compliant which could be a problem for visually or hearing impaired students. One e-reader that is about to launch is a free software download called Blio ( http://www.blio.com ). It will work across platforms and on most devices; it is also 504 compliant. For the cost of a Kindle, a school could outfit each student with a netbook that has the Blio software on it (it is FREE). The netbooks would be much more useful for many other assignments as well. Why not try to get the most bang for your buck?????"

I'll be following this story closely.

1 comment:

spiritualmaya said...

My concern regarding etextbooks for students is that it only allows them to tap into one learning style. Particularly for tactile learners that must interact with the material physically. I just don't think that the system would work for all students.