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Why I believe in Kindles, not tablets, for students

favicon Today’s article in The New York Times underscores why I prefer Kindles over tablets in my classroom.

Julie Bosman and Matt Rictel write:

People who read e-books on tablets like the iPad are realizing that while a book in print or on a black-and-white Kindle is straightforward and immersive, a tablet offers a menu of distractions that can fragment the reading experience, or stop it in its tracks.

I couldn’t agree more. If we want our students to read deeply, then Kindles, not tablets, are the way to go in the classroom.

The beauty of the Kindle is that you can do very little on it besides read. Sure, you can try the browser, but its clunkiness will instantly annoy you.

Some cash-strapped schools, however, promote the purchase of tablets because they combine the features of a computer and an e-reader for a good overall price.

Instead of buying a $500 iPad, I’d rather get a $139 Kindle Touch (with no advertisements) and a $300 netbook. (Yes, until tablets get easy keyboard solutions, I don’t promote their use in schools.)

That way, students can focus on what they’re doing. If they’re reading, they’re reading, and if they’re not, they’re not.

I’m finding out so far that my students are happy with my set of 12 Kindles. They’re not clamoring for iPads or Amazon Fires. They understand what I’m trying to do with The Classroom Kindle Project.

If the purpose is to read, then the tablet isn’t the right device.

What are your thoughts? favicon


    • Mark Isero

      Some people say that kids aren’t bothered by the tablet input. But that’s because they’re OK with typing 20-30 words per minute, which just isn’t fast enough. I’m a big proponent of keyboards!

  1. John at TestSoup

    See, I think we need to move beyond even typing! That’s what’s holding us back. We need to find a new input method that is equally (or comparably) fast but doesn’t involve decades-old methods.

Please share your brilliant insights!