I love books. I look forward to the smell and feel of a real paper book so when my daughters bought me a Kindle for my birthday last year I adopted an appropriately enthusiastic interest in their gift, as any loving mother might, and allowed them to buy and download a group of my favourite classics and a few new reads. The Kindle sat unused for a few weeks until one evening I decided to try the free Pride and Prejudice ebook.Â I fell in love withÂ my littleÂ slimline grey box immediately and have since developed an evangelical zeal in promoting it’s use among my friends and family. Colleagues here at Beech House looked on in amazement at my childlike excitement when I realised I could buy a set of six devices for school and share books between them to use in the classrooms.
It’s a really cool gadget because as well as fitting a whole bookshelf in my handbag each day, it is fun and interesting.Â Children adore using it and become happily engaged in reading books for incredibly long periods of time. Parallels to iPods and MP3 players are obvious. Instantly books arrive on the device via wireless technology and can be shared with others.Â You never lose your page as the Kindle remembers where you stopped reading.Â I can read a different book in different locations. This week I am reading “Why do I need a teacher when I’ve got Google”by Ian Gilbert in the daylight hours and Dark Fire by Sansom as I drop off to sleep.Â I have recently subscribed to my favourite newspaper and can glance at it over breakfast.Â
TheÂ variable size and style ofÂ font are useful for my middle aged eyes as well asÂ the young ones of the pupils.Â And when I am really tired or for my youngest pupils the “text to voice” option, whilst a bit robotic, is also useful. Children can listen to texts they cannot read and the phrases can be repeated as they comprehend or discuss the meaning. And yes you can see the pictures.
At a higher level, self publishing is a cool option because Kindles can read PDF documents so pupils can self publish to an ebook. How exciting and motivating is that! And today I just discovered that with Kindle software from Amazon or the free “Calibre” programme allow you to display your Kindle reading on a computer which means that you can also display it on an interactive whiteboard.Â Screen capture software makes this “grabbable” and printable too.
And if my daughters are reading this, I am quite interested in an ipad????