I remember the Kindle was first announced, I thought this was the beginning of a revolution, but after getting my hands on one I remember that I really disliked the monochrome screen and lack of functionality for such a high priced device. The Kindle has proven people are love being able to read on the go.
KINDLE COST FAIL
The 6″ Kindle is $259 & the 9.7″ Kindle is $489 and Amazon boasts a 16 shades of gray, monochrome screen. Currently, you can get an iPad (9.7″ screen) that can almost replace your PC for $499. Plus, the iPad has a Kindle app for free where you can read your books in color. You tell me which is a better deal.
On top of the initial cost of the devices, you still have to pay for the eTextbooks for your Kindle.
The Seattle Times said, “At the University of Virginia, as many as 80 percent of MBA students who participated in Amazon’s pilot program said they would not recommend the Kindle DX as a classroom study aid (though more than 90 percent liked it for pleasure reading).”
KINDLE ENGAGEMENT FAIL
The current student population is part of the “entertain me” generation. They want to be engaged, as well as, entertained as they learn. Let’s face it, the typical eTextbooks are pretty much just static, plain Jane, PDFs. There is nothing about the current digital textbooks that are interactive. This engagement gap is where the future of eTextbooks and eLearning is going.
The Seattle Times also stated,”‘At Princeton University and Portland-based Reed College, a small liberal-arts institution, students praised the Kindle for its long battery life, paper savings and portability. They then complained they couldn’t scribble notes in the margins, easily highlight passages or fully appreciate color charts and graphics.”
“TO INFINITY AND BEYOND…” (Great quote from Buzz Lightyear)
Amazon was headed in the right direction when they went with a mobile reader, but students desire a more engaging learning experience. If you can deliver a better digital learning experience for eTextbooks at a reasonable price point, you can win the hearts (and minds) of thousands of students across the globe.
THE TABLET EXPERIENCE
Being the Mac Geek that I am, I bought my iPad when it first went on pre-order and it was delivered that first Saturday. Even though its expensive, it is truly a wonderful device. Take a look at the Wired Magazine iPad app released yesterday. Now imagine that being your eTextbook!
Now compare that to a typical ePub formatted eBook running on the Kindle iPad App:
I really like the Wired app because of the rich media experience and the level of engagement is 100 times better. Everywhere I go with my iPad, many are interested in it and wants to see what it can do. A little over a month ago it was a couple of college students in Starbucks. Last weekend, it was an older gentleman at the local community market. Tablets are the future of education and digital media consumption in my opinion! As this summer is get starterd, we should see a whole slew of Google Android tablets hitting the markets that will compete with Apple’s iPad. Most are priced cheaper than the iPad and can be as low as $150.
Personally, I’m looking forward to Notion Ink’s ADAM. This is for a number of reasons, but mostly because Google supports open development and freedom to use whatever tools you want to develop content and applications for their open source operating system (Android). As a part of every eLearning developer’s wish list the Notion Ink ADAM will support Adobe Flash & AIR for Android apps!
Do you have a Kindle? Do you have an iPad? What are your thoughts? Can it be that next great technological leap for education?
Amazon CEO: Kindle won’t compete with iPad - http://www.macworld.com/article/151554/2010/05/amazon_kindle_ipad.html
Computex will bring Android + ARM tablets, but are they ready? - http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/05/computex-will-bring-android-arm-tablets-but-are-they-ready.ars
iPad Screenshots – http://www.flickr.com/photos/donaldleegraham/sets/72157624016518073/
Amazon.com’s Kindle fails first college test – http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2011938870_kindle24.html