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NEW HEADING 1
Should schools convert to textbooks on kindles?
February 11, 2013James F Byrnes Freshman Academy
Schools across America are considering taking the weight off of student’s shoulders and converting to textbooks on Kindle.
The Kindle has revolutionized the world of reading. Anyone can buy the simple touch screen device online and just press a button to buy a book, even textbooks.
A textbook Kindle DX has a larger screen than a regular Kindle measuring 10.4 by 7.2 inches, is a half an inch thick and weighs 18.9 ounces. This Kindle DX is easy to carry around because of its light weight and compatibility, which takes away the problem of heavy back packs and reduces chiropractic issues later on in life.
Studies by the New York Times show that the average student’s backpack weighs 37 pounds, when they should weigh about 18 pounds at the most. The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission calculated that “carrying a 12-pound backpack to and from school and lifting it 10 times a day for an entire school year puts a cumulative load on youngsters’ bodies of 21,600 pounds — the equivalent of six mid-sized cars.”
Students who have trouble with reading and vision can benefit greatly from the read-a-loud options and the text enlargement options that all Kindles have. A person can also change the speed and gender of the electronic reader’s voice that comes through a built in speaker, or someone can hook up headphones to the Kindle DX.
Gale Cengage Learning (2000) studies show that students improved between 41% and 70% on their SRA Reading scores because of the large print. With fewer words on each page, it is less stressful for readers who have a hard time reading.
A Kindle DX has 4GB of memory, which is the equivalent to 3500 books. The Kindle is not as hard on the eyes as a regular computer screen because of its grayscale E Ink display.
Class sets of textbooks normally end up with graffiti in them and students wish to be able to highlight important sections for studies. With a Kindle, anyone can highlight text, clip text, take notes on text and look up the definition to any word in a book or document with the built-in dictionary. By the way, there is no option for graffiti.
The cost of the Kindle DX is $500, but education discounts help cover the cost. Downloading textbooks on Kindle can be up to half the cost or less of a regular textbook.
Dr. Miles, a teacher at BFA who owns 80 Kindles for her classes, said that she noticed having Kindles “helps struggling students stop fighting reading” and that young males prefer them over paper books in particular.
A student at BFA, Amanda Howell, said, “I would like it (having Kindles) a lot. It would be a lot easier and help with weight of backpacks and students would be more into studying because of the technology.”
Mr. Odom, an assistant principal at BFA, said that he thinks “several years down the road we’ll (Byrnes Freshman Academy) see the option to buy or purchase online textbooks (Kindles).”