schools

Kindle Reader Now Popular In Schools

I don’t have a link to this piece. But I copied and pasted below, verbatim. It came from a local Bucks County, PA newspaper, The Intelligencer.


By: JAMES MCGINNIS

The Intelligencer

Students said they were more interested in reading books electronically.

Story time now begins with the push of a power button for eighth-graders at School Lane Charter School in Bensalem.

They received Kindle electronic reading devices this month.

Teachers hope the devices awaken a passion for reading in the kids, who are far more familiar with computers than the Dewey Decimal System, which libraries use to categorize books.

Kids can download reading materials onto the device wirelessly, eliminating trips to a book store or library.

Weighing about 10 ounces, a Kindle won’t weigh down a student’s backpack. School Lane paid $8,450 for 50 devices, which cost $169 apiece with protective casing.

When student Jason Flora of Bensalem doesn’t feel like reading, he said he can simply listen to a book. On command, the Kindle reads the text aloud.

Student Daniel Nelson of Bensalem said he “barely ever read anything” before he was given a Kindle. Now he’s actively searching for electronic books to read.

School Lane principal Karen Schade said almost all the eighth-graders are requesting books, which can be downloaded only with the permission of parents and teachers.

Although the students’ Kindles are used in the classroom for story hour a few times a month, they are used much more often at home, school officials said.

Meanwhile, educators continue to weigh the Kindle’s usefulness in the classroom.

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A Kindle pilot program at Princeton University significantly reduced paper cost and waste by college students. But some students complained that printed materials are more easily compared, highlighted and referenced than electronic materials.

Some research suggests that the brain processes electronic and print text differently, with electronic text digested in a more cursory manner for the collection of quick information. And as reading becomes easier, it also becomes easier to forget, those researchers say.

School Lane officials said they’ll continue to use print materials, such as textbooks, in the classroom.

“The bottom line for us was just to get students energized about reading,” said the principal. “One of the purposes of a charter school is to try new things like this.”

The school expects some cost savings, the principal said, because students can share books with other Kindle users, and electronic books tend to be cheaper than the printed versions. For example, the new Stephen King novel “Full Dark, No Stars” sells for $12.99 on Kindle and $33.25 in hardcover at Barnes & Noble.

Electronic versions of books also won’t get damaged like print materials.