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Yesterday at work I came into the tail end of a conversation about printing and paper. I am not exactly sure where the conversation started, but when I joined in they were discussing technology and how it will aid more and more in living green.

My part of the conversation started when one of the original participants mentioned something about my Kindle. They were discussing the merits of not having to scroll (hey, I didn’t start the conversation, don’t ask me). A coworker made the comment he thought the Kindle also “didn’t really scroll”. And they asked me.

I was happy to jump in and share the virtues of my wonderful little reading device. I confirmed there was no scrolling – it is just like a book with a page turn. I also let them know (with the wireless turned off) the only battery usage was during the page turn. Very cool.

Since there was an away basketball game last night, I happened to have my Kindle with me at work. I had brought it along in case of down time between my arrival at the game and it’s start time. (You will see later how fortuitous this was.) So, of course, I brought it out for show and tell. Coworker #2 had never seen it. I know, right? How can that be?!? He was very intrigued by it and I was happy to share my knowledge.

The conversation then turned to the possibilities of the Kindle, or a similar electronic reading device, being used in education. It is smaller and lighter than a laptop. Cheaper too. It would allow schools to keep up with textbook edits much more quickly than with printed books.

“Yeah, poor Pluto really wouldn’t be a planet anymore then.” I quipped.

But it is true. Often textbooks are out of date by the time they are printed. And if a school has purchased said books on a budget, unfortunately they use the out of date books until they have gotten their moneys worthwhile the rest of the world moves on.

Fast forward to the basketball game. Somehow, I had gotten the start time of this game entered in my calendar as 5PM. The actual game time was 6PM. Never fear, my Kindle was here. I sat in the lobby of the school and read until it was closer to game time. See how good it was that I had brought it with – “just in case”?

While I was sitting there reading, a teacher? Librarian? Woman from the other school asked me if “that was one of those Kindle things?”. I told her, indeed it was. She mentioned their school had begun thinking of purchasing some Kindles for use in their schools’ libraries. We then had a lovely conversation on the merits of electronic readers for schools.

The first thing she mentioned was encyclopedias. And how quickly the information changed. It would be a wonderful thing for schools to be able to quickly archive outdated encyclopedias and download new ones as needed. She also commented on how much of a benefit the ‘read to you’ feature would be for their students that struggle and need more assistance. I hadn’t even thought of that.

I do not know where the future of the Kindle and other electronic book readers lies, but I’d bet it won’t be long before many schools start taking advantage of this technology.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    lyndseyjenkins said,

    If only I had come to you first! Ok, now I am sort of excited about them. Before I thought it would be one of those things which seem like they are great but are a huuuuge disappointment.

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