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Kindles + Choice = Reading the classics

favicon My decision this semester to focus my Kindle project on voluntary reading (rather than teacher-assigned reading) is starting to pay off.

Out of my Advisory class of 18, 10 students are reading on Kindles. It’s fun to watch. My hope is to get a class set of Kindles so every student can try one.

My favorite thing to do is to talk with students about their reading. Which books do they choose, and why? What do they like about their books? What questions are they grappling with in life, and how does reading help them answer those questions?

When given choice, students like reading, and often, they select books long considered dry or tedious. Yes, they choose classics!

Today, I checked in with a student who just recently borrowed a Kindle. I asked him what he was reading. He replied, “Animal Farm. It’s kind of funny.”

My student didn’t know that I’d taught the novel for several years, that I thought it was only an OK book, and that most students endured it just to get to the engaging mock trial project we did at the end of the unit.

He didn’t care about all that. He is reading Animal Farm, and he likes it.

Although this is just a guess, I think that the Kindle has something to do with his selection. The Kindle does an excellent job at eradicating negative peer pressure. Nobody knows what you’re reading. Nobody knows if you’re reading fast or slowly. Nobody cares if your book has a colorful cover.

It’s just you and the author’s world. And right now, my student is enjoying a little George Orwell. favicon

One comment

  1. Beth Silbergeld

    The image of your students on Kindles is crisp from your description. Your analysis of the power of the Kindle project is keen. Book cover art, like album cover art has a decreased power because of the equalizing tech blanket of Kindles, iTunes, etc. I hope to see all 18 completing the image of 100% e-readers by the end of the term.

Please share your brilliant insights!