Kindle in Education

I received a comment on the previous post, and wanted to share it with those who may not check out the comments.   Please, share your ideas with us here!

Brief and quick thoughts about Kindle and higher education.

Like you I see the Kindle as a ‘killer device’ in higher education.
Just as I saw the mobile phone/smartphone in 2002. Colleges & Universities were motivated by finances to devise a way to recapture the income lost to dorm phones on traditional landlines. 6 years later and few schools have been able to construct a means to generate revenue from mobile student based mobile technology. A segment of the faculty don’t want mobile devices in their class. Some faculty adopt the technology to aid learning (interactive, polling, twitter, etc.). The administration can’t figure them out.
They got sidetracked with the cell phone as an emergency notification device.
Where is the $$$$?

So, how to motivate higher ed leadership to adopt the Kindle as an instructional tool integral to learning? The answer may be in the money stream.

Your suggestion of self-publishing or co-publishing with commercial publishers has merit.
The landscape is strewn with disjointed efforts to self-publish. Use of learning management systems, faculty blogs, twitter, course/faculty facebook accounts, iTunes University, faculty generated web pages, etc. etc.
The challenge here is to provide a platform to aggregate ‘published’ works across diverse platforms.
How to get all these self-published works loaded onto the Kindle?

There is the green consideration. As more faculty select e-texts for their courses students inevitably will print pages/chapter(s)/books at college provided printers or printers in their dorms. Defeats the inherent value of e-texts: lower unit cost, ease of transport, bookstore floor space & inventory management, etc.
Interesting side note. I use an e-text for my digital photography course. The primary rationale is the text is updated more frequently than publishers can print new version. The main argument from students is they are restricted to read the text while at a computer. Can’t time-shift reading assignments, read on the train/bus/standing in line. Annotate, highlight, dog ear pages, etc. And there are the inherent challenges of laptop technology.

There is the possibility of providing all incoming freshmen with a Kindle: included in the tuition. This is no different than colleges that require the purchase of a laptop. In fact it is better, IMHO. A joint effort with Amazon would seal the deal. As would a partner relationship between Amazon and publishers.

In any case it seems Amazon has given this some measure of consideration. Where do they go from here?

How quickly can those of us who have a shared vision for e-readers like the Kindle advance this technology along the Rodgers innovation adoption curve?


3 thoughts on “Kindle in Education

  1. Will DeLemater of the blog told me yesterday of a Harvard Medical School IT guy who has put 20,000 items of course material on the Kindle. I don’t have the details and am going to follow up on it for a future interview on my Kindle Chronicles podcast. Will is focusing on educational uses of the Kindle, so you might check his blog out if you’re not familiar with it.

  2. Great idea to hand out Kindles to students. I went back to school last year & so far have amassed a lot of ebooks with no good way of managing/reading them. An ebook reader would be great to have but I’m waiting for the prices to come down.

    Thanks for the tip on edukindle. Looks like they have some info about Kindles in libraries too which is of interest.

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