A new kind of eReader -- Amazon's Kindle -- is here. But is higher education ready for it? Kindle is a portable eReader that wirelessly downloads books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers to a crisp, high-resolution display. There is a waiting list of several months. Cost is $399 at Amazon.com.
When we talk about emerging technologies in higher ed, electronic textbooks has been a topic of discussion for a few years now. With the Kindle, a suite of interactive features makes this a tool beyond a simple book reader. Features include the ability to add notes, highlight text, and search, which makes the device ideal for college students. Rich media -- audio, video, animations, and 3D simulations -- are also possible on the Kindle.
Another huge advantage to students (and the rest of us), is that we don't have to haul around a backpack full of heavy textbooks! The Kindle weighs 10.3 ounces. Publishers will sell eBooks for far less than they would sell printed books, either used or new.
Excerpt from Campus Technology, April 2008 issue.