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Kindle Classroom Project update, 2/26/2013

favicon It has been three weeks since the last update, and things have definitely slowed down now since the holiday Kindle donating extravaganza. There are no longer daily emails from strangers who want to contribute their Kindles to the collection.

Nevertheless, I’m very happy to report the following updates:

1. Eleven more donated Kindles brings the total to 41.

Last update, the Kindle collection achieved its first full class set. A few days later, the number jumped to 41. This is very impressive!

Susan from Nyack, New York helped the cause by donating her Kindle 2. In her email, Susan wrote that she is a professor at an urban university and that she appreciates the Kindle Classroom Project’s aim to encourage high school students to love reading. Thank you, Susan, for your generous donation!

And then, on Feb. 7, a major shipment from Amazon arrived: 10 new Kindles. Take a look at the unboxing video (featuring some students) here! The Kindles came from a DonorsChoose project that a friend (who is staying anonymous!) suggested that I propose. After she got the word out at her company, Zappos, and after the generous donations of other friends and complete strangers, the large project was funded.

2. The Kindle library is close to 200 titles.

Now at 197 e-books, up five more from the last update, we’re inching our way there. I’ve joked before that it seems easier to collect $100 Kindles than it is to gather $10 e-books. Sometimes, that’s true, and that’s why I appreciate all the people who are donating books and growing the e-book library.

After all, the Kindles aren’t enough! The Kindles need books, too.

LeAnne from Fremont came through once again, this time with two more books to complete the Amigas series, a favorite among Latina ninth graders. I am very appreciative of LeAnne’s dedication. She has now donated a Kindle and four books. Very impressive! (I also like that she uses the students’ Amazon wishlist! Feel free to check it out and tell your friends.)

Here are some of the new books in the e-book library:

amigas anne frank extremely loud how to ruin

(I can already hear some of you. “You didn’t have Anne Frank in the collection?” Nope, sorry. There are tons of books that definitely need to be in the library that aren’t there yet. In fact, it gives me the idea publishing the current collection so that everyone can see what’s there. Let me know if you think that would be a good idea.)

3. There are new ways to donate.

Maybe I should give people badges for encouraging their friends to donate to the Kindle Classroom Project! If you’re interested, there are some new ways to contribute:

+ If you click on the bright green button on the top right corner of the blog, which reads, “Buy a Book for My Students!” you can do exactly that. You’ll arrive at an attractive WePay page that will help you make that contribution. Check out all your choices! You can even decide to give money once a day if you’re so inclined!

+ The Iserotope Facebook page (66 likes so far, and counting!) has recently been improved to offer two more ways to donate — one to contribute your Kindle, and another way to buy books.

As always, I really appreciate everybody’s commitment to this project. In a few weeks, one or two more classrooms — this time in San Francisco — will be trying out the Kindles. My hope is for the Kindle Classroom Project to be strong in at least three classrooms by the Fall.

Please let me know your questions, comments, and concerns. favicon


  1. Meg Griswold

    I am curious as to how you are managing the e-books. Are you loading certain e-books on certain Kindles and then students can borrow the Kindle with the book they want? I am curious as to the system you have developed.

  2. Mark Isero

    Dear Meg,

    Thank you for your question. Here’s my current system:

    1. Each student gets a Kindle to keep for the entire year,

    2. The student finds books he or she wants to read either by browsing the physical classroom library or by accessing the e-library on Goodreads,

    3. I deliver the title to the student’s Kindle.

    Number 3 is where it gets tricky. As I’m sure you know, the key thing is that Amazon, for the most part, allows e-books to be shared on up to six devices at a time. This means that no more than six students can be reading the same copy of a book simultaneously. Usually, this policy doesn’t present a problem; very infrequently is a book that popular. But for those most popular titles, I have to make sure to have the student erase the book from the Kindle before checking out the title to another student.

    is that crazy confusing? I hope not. Please let me know if you have more questions! Also, if you have ideas about how to improve this system, I’m always interested.

Please share your brilliant insights!