Amazon went crazy today and unveiled three new products: the new Kindle, the Kindle Touch, and the Kindle Fire. Which one is best for teachers and students?
The Kindle Fire, Amazon’s new tablet, which retails at a remarkable $199, won’t be useful for the classroom. It’s mostly a media device that’s an extension of the Amazon.com store. Sure, you can go online and search (the new Silk browser is supposed to be cool), but the Fire is best for entertainment and home use rather than for education.
The Kindle Touch, which starts at $99, seems similar to the Nook Touch, only much cheaper. The touch screen will make sense to students, who appreciate a tactile experience. Plus, it’s small, and there’s a virtual keyboard in case students want to make or share annotations.
The new Kindle, which starts at just $79, will likely replace the Kindle 3 (now called the Kindle Keyboard). This device is meant just for deep reading. There’s no touch screen, no keyboard — and no audio for text-to-speech. Although the new Kindle is limited, it makes a bold statement: Let’s get lost reading.
Which is best for teachers and students? I’d vote for the Kindle Touch. The price is right (cheaper than any Kindle I’ve bought or had donated!), students will like the touch screen, and it focuses on reading but allows students to annotate.
Is the Kindle Touch the perfect all-in-one device for students? No way. But I’m an English teacher, and I care about reading the most.
Therefore, I argue that families and schools should invest in the Kindle Touch so that all students have one. Imagine the amount of reading we’d see if all students each had a Kindle in their backpack.