No new Kindles this week (despite some rumors!), but here’s a quick update on The Classroom Kindle Project:
1. I’ve created a Kindle Agreement for use with students. People ask me, “Do you let your students take the Kindles home?” My answer is, “Of course! That’s the whole point.”
A few concerns follow: (1) What if students purchase books on their own? (2) What if students damage or lose their Kindle? (3) What if students use the Kindle inappropriately?
I haven’t had any problems yet, but the Kindle Agreement makes things a little more official. It’s also a great checklist to remind me of what to cover during my how-to-use-the-Kindle tutorial.
2. The Kindle e-book library has grown to 110 titles. In their English 12 class, students are participating in a classics unit, in which they’re reading a classic of their choice. This unit has increased interest in the Kindle because of the difficulty of the books. The Kindle’s built-in dictionary and text-to-speech features are coming in handy.
Some highlights: Rio is reading Dante’s Inferno; Elisa is reading 1984; Jadz is reading Edgar Allen Poe; Princess is reading Emma (and loving text-to-speech); Francisco is reading Lord of the Flies; and Liz is reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
It’s wonderful to see them reading challenging texts. The traditional way of teaching novels — where the teacher assigns a book, and the students, in general, don’t read it — doesn’t always work. I’m happy to report that I’m seeing a lot more reading because there is a lot more choice.
3. The students are talking about the Kindles. I encourage my students to show off their Kindles to their friends. This has caused some pretty neat conversations. One of my most popular questions is, “Does it have a touch screen?” (Touch capability is becoming standard for this iPad generation.) Here are some other things they’re saying:
- “That’s sick!”
- “What are you reading on that?”
- From a jealous naysayer: “Why can’t you just pick up a book?”
- “I’m almost finished with Hunger Games!”
- “I want one!”