It’s a new week and a new year at The Kindle Classroom Project, and you probably know what that means. Yep, you’re right: more Kindles, more books, and more updates. Here are the highlights:
1. Kindle donations continue apace.
Several more Kindles arrived this week, and I’m having trouble keeping up! Angela from Concord, California — a good friend and former colleague — donated Kindle #20. This was the second Kindle she has contributed over the past two years. I love repeat donors! (They should get a special badge.) Thank you, Angela, especially for making a deal with a kind woman from Florida to get the Kindle bound for San Francisco.
Another repeat donor was LeAnne from Fremont, California, who followed up on her book donation last week with a Kindle Keyboard this time around. It’s officially Kindle #21, and it’s a beauty. Readers tend to take care of their Kindles, and the one LeAnne contributed is in mint condition. Thank you, LeAnne!
Then came a big surprise. I received a donation form response from Raju in Sammamish, Washington, who told me that he had two Kindles to donate. But that’s not all. One is the first-ever Kindle Fire for The Kindle Classroom Project. (Go to the bottom of this post to find the article about the Fire, which is Kindle #22.) In addition to the Fire, Raju also donated a Kindle DX to the collection. Thank you, Raju!
And that’s not all. Just yesterday I received Kindle #23, a Kindle 4, from Nicole in Quincy, Massachusetts. Nicole did a quick Google search and quickly found The Kindle Classroom Project page. (It’s now on the first page of Google search results!) She included a kind note in her package, too.
What a week, right?
2. The Kindle Library now stands at 180 titles.
Kindler Kei’ana, a ninth grader in Oakland, says she’s happy about my new policy (thanks to DSW’s $1,000 donation) that students get to request a book each month if they finish at least one on their own. That means, Kei’ana says, that more books about mythology will eventually make the library. (“Mr. Isero, you don’t about Greek mythology?” she asks. “Isn’t there one about Icarus?” I reply.)
Here are a few of the books that are now in the Kindle Library:
I’m really surprised that it took this long to get Part-Time Indian, a beloved books among ninth graders. The other ones (particularly The Oath) seem on the higher end for beginning high school students, but I’m hopeful that student interest will supersede challenging reading level.
3. People are really starting to like buying books from the Amazon Wishlist.
Thanks go out to LeAnne from Fremont (one book) and Cathy from Lodi (three books) this week. They both purchased books directly from the classroom’s Amazon wishlist.
The Amazon Wishlist offers students another way to request books, plus it gives contributors another way to donate books. I’m excited to build this feature because the true long-term success of the project, once there are enough Kindles, comes down to the quality of the e-books. In addition, I am hopeful to encourage my students’ families to purchase at least one book per year. After all, they probably buy books for their kids; why not share them with the entire class?
4. It has been fun to fiddle around with the new Kindle DX and the Kindle Fire.
The Kindle DX is huge, and the Kindle Fire is addictive. Thank you, Raju. Both devices come with Amazon’s Parental Controls, which I’m thinking of putting on all the Kindles. After all, it’s important that students cannot access the Kindle store or go online. We must all remember, It’s all about the reading! (To be fair, most students don’t even think a Kindle can access the Internet, and there has been only one instance so far of a student purchasing a book on her own.)
The DX and the Fire definitely are making me think about next steps for the Project. With 10 $69 Kindles coming soon (they were shipped today!), there are many different devices in the Kindle fleet. Can they all exist together, or will students gravitate toward the Fire (because it has color and a touchscreen) and Kindle Touch and away from the Kindle DX and $69 Kindle?
Thank you again, donors and readers, for keeping up the pace and getting the word out!