Kindle in the Classroom Results

As pilot programs at seven universities around the country wrap up their evaluations of the Kindle DX as a viable teaching tool and textbook alternative, we see pretty much the expected results.  The eReader that has been such a pleasure to use in leisure is perhaps not quite ready for the academic scene.

Humanities classes, especially Literature classes which it would otherwise seem that the Kindle is ideally suited to, tend to involve active reading aids such as highlighting, annotation, page marking, etc.  These habits are built up over years as students work their way through their programs.  Most of these options are present in the Kindle software in some form, of course, and the ability to access your changes and notes on any platform is a major plus, but the device itself has a coupe minor shortcomings in speed and input design that haven’t quite been fully worked out yet.

As development continues and successive versions make the Kindle more responsive, feature-packed, and convenient to annotate, we’re sure to see things change.  For now, those students who are willing to cope with the minor inconveniences are already enjoying savings of sometimes as much as 75% on texts for their classes, a savings which easily pays for the device itself over the course of a college career.

6 thoughts on “Kindle in the Classroom Results

  1. Using a textbook, often involves a lot of page flipping. That is not something that the Kindle can do well.

  2. Was this pilot set by Amazon?
    Anyway, a student version of Kindle DX would be very welcome. I’ve decided to postpone purchasing an eReader until something like that comes out.
    Anyway, I’ve read somewhere that one of the big flaws in the Kindle is the inability to organize many PDF files. Most of my textbooks are in PDF form and I’ll definitely need to arrange them by tags, or at least folders. Any DX owners care to comment on that?

  3. I’ve been using the Kindle DX to read scientific pdf papers for a few months and I couldn’t imagine working without it any more.

    It is not completely ideal: the page turn can be a bit slow with some pdfs and it’s impossible to take notes on the Kindle. There are also some very obvious features missing, like the ability to rename bookmarks in pdf files. Still, carrying hundreds of papers in a 500gr device is invaluable.

  4. I’ve spoken with a few textbook publishers about this informally. They all told me that they were planning/working on ebook editions of their books and that a $120 book might go for as little as $80-$90. I am underwhelmed. Admittedly, you don’t have to pay the bookstore markup, and they tend to gouge. The bookstore will buy the book for $90, then raise it to $150 or more. Which is amusing since there are supposed to be caps to how much they can raise the price by- usually no more than 15% is my understanding. So far as I can see, they just ignore that.

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