a4s_nobooks060210a_124402c.jpgThe St. Petersburg Times is reporting this, and I got a call from their fact checking department about it yesterday. Unlike some schools which are doing limited trials, the high school wants to replace textbooks for all students in all grades – school wide. This would mean 2.100 Kindles. The article says that a final device hasn’t been picked, but the school is negotiating with Amazon now. Already, ereaders have been issued to all 100 of the school’s teachers.

John Just, assistant superintendent for the district’s management information systems, said Kindle officials told the district that no other high school had embarked on such an effort. Schools elsewhere have used e-readers, but mostly on a per class basis. A Massachusetts boarding school recently made waves by completely digitizing its library. … At first blush, the expense appears a savings over traditional textbooks. Books can cost between $70 and $90 each. A typical high school student would have about seven.


  1. I think that the Kindle is a poor choice for this and it’s unfortunate. I think this is the perfect place to introduce digital, but a better device would be something like an Apple iPad instead.

    The Kindle is great for reading for leisure but terrible for education reading. Graphs, charts and photo’s are terrible on the Kindle and not to mention that often times color is important.

    Great initiative but it’s doomed to failure for picking the wrong device to pilot on.

  2. Digital readers and textbooks seem like a great idea. When I was teaching, the hassle of collecting textbooks and inspecting them for damage at the end of the year was a horrendous chore. Digital textbooks can’t be defaced, damaged, or lost. As far as inventory control goes, it would be a lot easier to keep track of an ereader.

    My concern would be about damage to the ereaders. Would students treat their ereaders any better than they do their textbooks? I’m also wondering about illustrations and pictures which are not handled well on our current e-ink readers.

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