The Year of the E-Book? - Tech Learning

The Year of the E-Book?

Each year, after the holidays, I ask my elementary school students what new technologies have recently entered their lives. This year, many of my students are reporting that they now own e-book readers.
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Each year, after the holidays, I ask my elementary school students what new technologies have recently entered their lives. There are many more iPod Touches out there, more computers, more Gaming Stations, but this year many of my students are reporting that they now own e-book readers (Kindles and Nooks being the top brands). I've been predicting this for a while ---that this would be the year of the E-Book--- but this was an easy prediction to make after the big players drastically reduced their prices this year. Amazon had its best year with its Kindle family, selling over a million per week during the month of December. At $79 for their entry model, a lot of students opened devices over the holiday that could store more books than they will be able to read in the lifetime of the product (I could be wrong about this... I'm not sure how long a Kindle battery holds out).

This shift is dramatic. It is the first time I've seen students at my school bringing Kindles in for silent reading. In one class, there are 6 students with Kindles of varying flavors. The teacher keeps them safe on the shelf and students are allowed to use them during reading time. I've "interviewed" many students who have the new devices and they say they "love them." When asked which they like better ---real books or e-books--- many have answered that they are "on the fence," that they still like the feel and properties of a "real" book, but are also increasingly enjoying their "digital" reads.

I've been using an iPad to read books since it first came out, and a Kindle since October, and I am getting to the point where I appreciate the Kindle more than a "real book." I'm finding myself switching over... no longer really on the fence.

So... get ready. They're coming and they're not going away (sales for young adult e-books are seeing a drastic increase). More teachers and schools are going to have to make room on their shelves for the new devices, change policies of what electronics are allowed in school, and perhaps even teach new reading strategies for electronic ink.



My Book Broke

Readers of my posts know that I have made the move to almost entirely reading books digitally for well over a year. I have missed actual physical books for sure, but the benefits that digital offer continue to keep me "Team Digital" for the following reasons.

A Plan for Technology Integration

Introducing new technologies into learning is not an easy process. Decision makers want to examine data, other districts' successes/struggles, and make sure money is being well spent. There are many approaches to adopting new technologies (or any educational tools for that matter). In this post, I thought I would offer up my own thoughts for a possible plan for investing in and integrating new technologies.

Kindle Re-Kindled

One of the big news items over the past couple of weeks has been Amazon's announcement of the Kindle Fire, along with other new Kindle flavors. I think at this point, we can safely say that the Fire will not be an iPad Killer, however, Amazon's new announcements should definitely have an impact upon the Tablet market going forward. Specifically, many forecasted that the Fire would be coming in with a $300 price tag; seeing it offered at a hundred less than that is definitely welcoming news...

A Smarter Book by Bob Sprankle

Let me begin with a huge shoutout to Will Richardson who wrote this week's post already for me. Seriously I've been getting ready to write about my ideas of a "Smarter Book" for awhile, and Will pretty much captured a