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Kindle. Noun … or verb? November 2, 2011

Posted by IaninSheffield in Teaching Idea, Tools.
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cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by ianguest: http://flickr.com/photos/ianinsheffield/6306848571/

Amazon’s recent release of new versions of the Kindle finally tipped me over the edge and I shelled out £89 for the Kindle 4.

Having never Kindled before, I was going to write a detailed review … but of course, that’s ground that has been well ploughed elsewhere (T3, Reviews eBook Readers & TechRadar).

The Amazon Kindle 4 (aka Kindle 4th Gen, Kindle Touchless or just plain Kindle) was announced as a sidenote to the colour Kindle Fire and touch-enabled Kindle Touch. But in many ways it was the most significant of the three, because of its extraordinary price. (TechRadar)

And those who know me well will know how important the last two words there are to me! (Even if we here in the UK are being stung in comparison with our cousins across the Pond!)

So what is there to add? Well after just a week’s use, let’s move past the functions and features and look at what this pocket-sized wonder has done for me. I read books and it let’s me do that very effectively, though it also lets me add highlights, bookmarks, clippings and notes. Further still I can share some of those annotations with the wider world and can check out what others are ‘posting.’ Given that in addition to sharing notes with the public at large, you can also ‘follow’ people of your choosing. That set me wondering if there was any mileage in Language Arts or Librarian colleagues being able to have students ‘share’ their reading experiences with one another? Of course that can be done in class or through a book club, but surely the asynchronous opportunities present an affordance not available from paper-based media?

Perhaps surprisingly though, reading books was not my first consideration in getting a Kindle. It was more about the chance to read journal articles, research papers and even blog posts at a time and place to suit. Getting PDFs onto the Kindle couldn’t be easier really. I can either plug it into the computer with the USB cable (supplied) and drag and drop the files into a folder on the device, or rather interestingly I can email them direct to my Kindle account, which then synchs those files. To get blog posts across, I have been using an online service called SENDtoREADER (registration required, but free) which provides a one-click bookmarklet to send any web page direct to the Kindle – easy-peasy!

So barely a week in and I’m loving the ease of use, from both the reader and user perspectives … and there’s still plenty more to explore!

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