The idea of a digital library is a great. It means any book could be accessed where Internet connections are available. This is a monumental step forward from having to search out and physically travel to a library to find a particular book.
If students all had access to a Kindle or other such device, this could be a powerful tool for student learning. Students could research a report they were doing in class rather than taking a trip to the library. Moreover, the size of the school library would have to increase in size bigger than the whole school campus in order to hold a mere fraction of the books available on the Internet. The number of digitized books are only bound to increase.
I have never used a Kindle, but I hear they are easy to read and generally lighter than many large books. This would all be nice for students. It lightens up their already too full backpacks.
Moreover, it would be nice if usual word in the text of the book could be linked to a dictionary, so the word's meaning could be conveniently looked up. Hauling out a dictionary in the middle of reading is always a pain.
The article states that Kindle are only set up to deal with linear formats, read from the top to the bottom. This limits the current Kindle models from being able to handle all of the exciting features of e-books. However, newer models of Kindle-type devices may be able to handle the multi-media of e-books.
Kindles apparently are capable to read the text of many books aloud. This could be a great feature for visually impaired and the average student alike. It would be helpful for many students to be able to hear a line of text with a new word in it to hear how it is pronounced. Pronunciation can be challenging with a new word. Moreover, this read-aloud feature could be helpful if the student want to review something they have already read. However, students need to do the reading themselves most of the time and not rely on the read-aloud feature. I am not sure how this feature could be limited in a usable way, however.
Kindles sounds cool, can't wait.
Thanks for reading,
Sorry for the Sunday post.
Bull, G. and Sites, M. (2009, August). Digital Libraries: Shifting the Landscape .Learning and Leading with Technology,37 (1)