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Whether to sync my classroom Kindles

 Now that I have six Kindles for student use, I have to decide whether to synchronize them or not. I don’t know what to do.

Disadvantages to Syncing

  1. It might confuse students reading the same book at the same time. Synced Kindles like to keep track of the last page read. If students are reading the same book at the same time, it’s possible they’ll lose their spot. What’s neat, though, is that syncing page numbers doesn’t happen without the reader’s consent.
  2. It might be harder to grade annotations. Highlights and notes are shared automatically across Kindles, which means students would have to include their initials before every annotation they made.
  3. Students have access to all my notes and highlights. Most of the time, this is a good thing, but sometimes, I’d like to keep my notes private.
Advantages to Syncing
  1. It makes reading more social. Students see what their peers have highlighted and noted and can have a conversation. Sharing notes can lead students to do more thinking. If more than one student chooses the same passage, for example, they can express their differing viewpoints.
  2. It makes reading more public. Reading is usually so private and undercover. Because notes and highlights are available online, I can use them in class to elicit discussion. Instead of talking about passages I select, we can talk about quotes students find intriguing.

It looks like syncing is the way to go. Next steps: I have to figure out public posting of notes. I’d like my students to post their notes to my class website or to our class Facebook page. It would be neat if students could post quotes for others to comment on. But right now, as far as I know, that’s impossible. 

Please share your brilliant insights!