Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Unto us a ............... Kindfle

I couldn't affird the Chinese Lions
In the beginning there was the cave wall. Today the Kindle.  I have just taken delivery of a new generation Kindle.  I discovered the post man had visited in my absence yesterday and left  a card asking me to pick it up.  The card informed me  that the delivery office would be open in the run up to Christmas from 6.30 am.  So at 6.45 am I collected the package.  At 6.53 I plugged it in to charge.  By 7.15 the LED had turned green.

Frankly ... I was quite impressed.  I have owned and used a number of portable devices over the years from Psion 5s to palm top computers on which I have read documents and ebooks.  I even at  one point experimented with writing ebooks to be read using Microsoft's e-reader.  (This was or appeared to be quietly dropped for some reason by Microsoft).  I have the ebook reader on my Bblackberry and have already read a few ebooks on this but the screen is not really large enough.So I was really pleasantly surprised how simple the Kindle was in operation. Almost as simple as cracking the spine on a paperback book.

I haven't yet had a chance to get past downloading a book.   That is due to BT who still have not restored my Internet Broadband (   midnight tonight Wednesday apparently I go live again).  I have already downloaded the Kindle desktop application a few weeks ago so have had a little experience of navigating the amazon site.  As an education specialist until recently I can see a great number of uses for this device.  Not least the possibility of writing my own ebooks for Kindle.  In my time as a head of science rarely was I ever able to buy the latest texts, they often retailed at £20 a copy.  A class set of 30 then becomes expensive, that is before you by copy masters for worksheets that support the diversified learning requirements of individual pupils.  They also become out of date very quickly.  As English schools start to develop their own curriculum,  if they are lucky enough not be subject to Ofsted scrutiny this may be a good tool to keep up with changing fashions in education.  Rarely has a piece of technology been simple  (ie no distractionn of other programmes as computers have) and  cheap enough (less than a games console) and compact.

I am waiting for the digital ocean to wash back in and have the chance to experiment with this potentially very useful device.   

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