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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Kindles & Nooks in school Libraries

Kindles & Nooks in school Libraries

Related Tags: Classroom Technology
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I'm interested to find out how other school librarians are integrating these e-book readers into their libraries. What are your use policies if you have them? Do they circulate? Are they cost-effective in the long run?

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Lyn King's picture
Lyn King
Public High School Library/Media Specialist

Since December 1, we are offering 5 Kindles loaded with the SC Young Adult Book Award nominees - 18 titles on each Kindle. Students who read continually love them and so do some of their parents who use them when they circulate home!!! They circulate for 2 weeks - we have had one Kindle damaged. We cannot document that students read more because of the enticements of the technology. We cannot justify the cost of $350 per Kindle (includes warranty, cover, and book downloads) and the amount of time it takes to keep track in the OPAC and in the technology database. While I do not like propriety software products, I chose Kindle because it was a closed system over Nook et. al. because they offered other services beyond the reading option that I thought would interfere with the purpose of my "plan". However, we know more about e-readers now than we did and I do not regret doing this pilot. I would appreciate information on other e-reader delivery systems that are not propriety - Over Drive, Blio, and others

Matthew Kitchens's picture
Matthew Kitchens
Seventh-grade reading/ELA teacher from Ennis, Texas

Since Amazon and AT&T just teamed up to drop the price of Kindle 3Gs by $50, I blogged about why schools have no more excuses. E-readers will pay for themselves in the long run. Check out my July 14 post: www.gradesandupgradestoo.blogspot.com. The blog discusses how school libraries can monitor websites to find free Amazon e-books.

John Wellcome's picture
John Wellcome
Most recently I was the librarian for the Valdez City School District

I started checking out our five iPads to students a couple of weeks ago. I started checking them out to the sixth graders, and I will let fifth and fourth graders check them out also. The check-out period is one week, and students who want to check them out have to take home a permissions/acceptable-use form and have it signed by a parent before they can check one out. This form ensures that the parent assumes the cost of replacing the iPad if it is damaged and that the parent understands that his or her child will use it only in accordance with the school district's technology acceptable-use policy. Students sign the form too, stating that they will use the iPad appropriately and will not drop or throw the iPad, or damage it in any way. After a couple of months I will evaluate this policy. I hope the upper elementary students are responsible enough to check out these wonderful technology tools!

Emma McDonald's picture
Emma McDonald
School Library Media Specialist Student at UNT

No personal experiences in the school library, but I have been researching different e-readers to determine the best one for use with students. So far the Nook Color has my vote, although I personally have a Kindle and love it. The biggest difference between the Nook Color and the Kindle Fire for use with kids is that the Nook has a "Read To Me" feature where students can listen to the book being read aloud. It also has many children's books with interactive features. When the child touches a picture, the picture "comes to life" through animation. The Nook also serves as a "mini-tablet" as it can show videos, play MP3 files, and supports Flash for internet sites. Students can use the Nook Color to access learning sites such as abcya.com, readwritethink.org, and others that have flash for their interactive learning games or online creation tools. Having used an iPad in the classroom, I was very disappointed at the inability to access much-used websites because it does not support Flash. The Nook takes care of this problem and it is smaller and easier to hold. Also, the Nook Color allows "borrowing" from different libraries (friends) which may also come in handy as a librarian. I'm still researching how this might work for purchasing purposes.

If you are choosing between the regular Nook and the regular Kindle, my opinion is that there isn't much difference between the two other than the inking and cloud technology used by Amazon. I purchase most of my books through Amazon, so it made sense to buy a Kindle for myself. I like the fact it is not backlit, so I can read it in full sunlight. However, it isn't very versatile for using with elementary students as far as the interactive features of the Nook Color.

Paula O'Rourke's picture

I agree, Emma. I decided to purchase Nook Color e-readers/tablet for all the reasons that you mentioned, except for the children's books, since I work in a high school. I felt that the ability to utilize flash and all the apps that are available (and are yet to come) made the Nook Color a no-brainer for our school.

Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

Great discussion. Does anyone have a sample of a school/library policy on the lending out of tablets and readers?

Dawne Reed's picture
Dawne Reed
LMS for Johnson Elementary Library

I am also interested in this. If high schools are having problems with damage to "fragile" Kindle screens I suspect they could be a disaster in the elementary library.

Are repairs possible or reasonable in price?

Dawne Reed's picture
Dawne Reed
LMS for Johnson Elementary Library

I see wisdom in your approach. Which devices are you considering? I'm using a few titles through FollettShelf but so far have only used downloads to computers. What grade levels are you working with?

Fran's picture
Fran
TriBeCa Librarian

We have been piloting all 3 devices in our elementary school. Personally, I love the iPad!!! IF money were not a factor, I would strongly suggest that you purchase iPads. You need to keep in mind that they all can be synced to ONE computer, and you need to have one person in control of the buyers-account. (Other staff can make suggestions for purchases) WHy iPads? The APPS. So many apps for different types of learners. If you are watching the $$$ buy the Kindle FIre! Android apps are OK, and the device is a bit smaller and easier for very little hands to hold. The screen is also super clear like on the iPads. The Nook is my 3rd choice because of the limited options for use.

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia
Facilitator

Hi everyone,
I have to agree with Fran on this one - the only solution that I would ever consider would be iPads for all the reasons Fran mentions. I''d also throw in the possibility of staff developing their own textbooks with iBooks Author. I think this has real potential.

I'm interested in the librarian approach - checking out devices like books.

From my experience working with mobile devices, damage drops rapidly once students take ownership of said devices - the fact they are responsible for the device means they take much greater care of it than if it 'belongs to the school'.

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