Amazon’s Kindle is making more and more sense for schools

October 30, 2009 — by Roy Bisht and Brandon Yang

With the world transitioning to a more electronic one, many aspects of everyday life are going digital. Because technology plays such an important role, such advances should also be used in education, such as the Amazon Kindle.

The Kindle is an e-reader program that allows users to download books for a more convenient read with its search function, lightweight and portability. As opposed to a three or four inch textbook, the largest Kindle is less than 1/3 of an inch thick and weighs only about 10.3 ounces. Not only is the Kindle more useful, it relieves a significant amount of pressure from the students’ backs.

Not only physically but also economically, the Kindle could help students, teachers and administrators alike. Once the textbook-compatible version of the Kindle is completed, a school set would satisfy many students in the long run.

Most texts cost more than $50, some over $100, while electronic versions are less than half the price. With textbooks getting updated every few years, it would be much simpler and cheaper for the school to just update the Kindles with a newer version of a textbook instead of buying new books. Schools can begin by offering a number of Kindles as an alternative to bulky textbooks, perhaps with a small fee to help cover for the cost of the Kindle once the textbook version is released to the public.

In addition to the Kindle, other possible upgrades, such as the Smartboard, an interactive “white board” that some math teachers already use, should also be considered. Especially with wi-fi on campus, Internet access is no longer limited to the computers in the library or computer lab, so incorporating technology in classes would be beneficial to the education of students.

Of course, this new technology will require a certain degree of training, purely in the interest of maintaining and repairing such advanced devices. In addition to having a tech-savvy repair team at hand, staff members should also be familiar with the equipment they work with. The school needs to keep up with the advances to provide education deserving of the leaps and bounds that students, and their teachers, are taking into this 21st century.