Susan Moody has posted an entry on the Worldreader.org blog discussing the common challenges facing education programs using the Kindle in both Clearwater, Florida and Ghana. Both programs are meeting with success, but interestingly enough one of the biggest issues proved to be the same in both cases.
Biggest Challenges? Now this is surprising: both pilots have the same challenges with technology–kids involuntarily deregistering their Kindles and lack of parental controls. Mr Just wrote: “we knew that we were having issues with students deregistering the school account and registering their personal account interfering with the download of books. The lack of enterprise controls on the Kindle made this tough to avoid, but something we needed to address with more awareness and dealing with inappropriate content.” Right now, Amazon doesn’t offer parental controls on the Kindle; both programs hope this will change.
I have a friend who works in the IT department of a prestigious private school that issues computers to its students, and he has described to me some rather similar issues with students getting around school lockdowns and restrictions on those devices. It seems some things are simply universal.
One difference between the programs was that the teachers in Ghana had a lot more motivation for putting e-readers to work in its classrooms, given that regular books are a lot more available in Florida than in Ghana. But in both cases, teachers are students are finding the e-readers have changed their educational experience a lot—hopefully for the better.
(Found via ReadWriteWeb.)