5 thoughts on “Third Graders Using Kindles”

  1. I know why I am opposed to this: I exhort my children to read books to reduce their “screen time”. Kindles just extend it.

  2. Glad it’s not just me. I know I sound old, but…why does everything have to be electronic? Why can’t kids enjoy the simple pleasure of holding an actual book in their hands? I wonder if the kids are really getting more out of what they’re reading, or if they’re simply enjoying the bells and whistles.

    Also, are the kids taking these things home? What happens when they begin malfunctioning, or they forget them? Most teachers have extra copies of paperback books lying around, but probably not extra Kindles.

  3. Kindles aren’t books, but they are libraries you can hold in your hand.

    I hope the school has looked in to downloading some of the free titles available from Amazon as well as the titles they paid for.

    If introducing technology in to the equation can get more children reading more books, I’m all for it.

    It will be interesting to see how well the device survives in the hands of 3rd graders. I still treat the one I got as a gift ‘gently’. Maybe they’ll prove more rugged than they appear.

    My personal reluctance to pay for Kindle books comes from a couple of issues Amazon can’t change by itself:
    1) Publishers requirement for Digital Rights Management meaning that if Amazon drops the Kindle I will need to pay again for the same book. (So I’m expanding my exposure Shakespeare, Adam Smith, and the early philosophers for free. And, I’m looking in to some of the periodicals – since I recycle those in a week anyway.)
    2) Technological changes – how many of us have bought the same music on LP, cassette tape, CD, digital?
    3) Lack of a single e-book standard – leading to device and seller lock-in.

    I do have concerns about the current Kindle as the solution. Several schools recently reached consent agreements about how they used Kindles being a violation of ADA. (Fairly good discussion at http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69673 – though some of the commentators there reacted without reading the decision.) Visually impaired students can benefit from some of the text to speech capability, but the incomplete implementation leads to needs for accommodations for those students.

    Anyone know – are there no visually impaired students in Burnley-Moran, or what accommodations are being made?

  4. I can sleep easily tonight knowing that it’s not just me. Each one of those gadgets cost $259. A leather book cover costs $29.99 and a two-year extended warranty costs $65.00. What a wonderful way of making education more expensive.
    From the DP article linked to above:

    Reading on the Kindle will get students to read books independently, but it is also all-inclusive and boosts their reading and critical thinking skills regardless of reading level, said Deanna Isley, who teaches reading to all of the school’s third-graders and decided to apply for a grant to do the project.
    “It sort of levels the playing field,” she said.

    Since it has a Text-to-Speech feature, it will help the students read “independently.” It me a while to understand that means “without the teacher’s help.” Maybe she can be replaced with a low-cost aide to offset the cost of the machine. How it’s supposed to help with the students’ critical thinking skills is still beyond my imagination but it sounds good. At first I thought the school system had secured a grant for the project, but the “grant” actually wasn’t one, it was the local school system’s money. The used to say that getting rid of the annual book fees would “level the playing field.” Then they said giving primary level students free books to take home was “leveling the playing field.” All of this I can see. These things can be said to equalize access. How reading books using a Kindle “level the playing field” is something I’m going to have to spend time to figure out. But, then again, it sounds good.

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