Sunday, November 14, 2010

Students' use of Kindles increases reading and collaboration (Pennsylvania)

Students' use of Kindles increases reading, bringing recognition to Chambersburg Area School District libraries.

Public Opinion Online's Keith Paradise writes that "e-readers in Chambersburg schools [Pennsylvania] are increasing time spent reading and creating new reading enthusiasts among students, drawing the attention of school libraries nationwide."

Chambersburg Area School District library leaders Joanne Hammond and Susan Berrier gave a presentation to the school board Wednesday and explained that "the electronic devices were purchased as a way to interest students in reading books and provide them technology to work with. The school has 30 Kindles and a cart to charge and store them in.

"The devices have increased the number of minutes students have spent reading and also the number of books that have been read."
' Chambersburg's experiences with reading devices were featured in this month's Library Media Connection magazine, in a three-page article written by CASHS librarian Melissa Engel-Unruh.  She is now fielding calls and questions from school librarians around the country about the club.

"We really are on the cutting edge on what libraries are doing with technology," Hammond said. '

The Kindles were purchased in early 2009 "as a way to encourage some of the school's lowest readers as determined by test results."
' "This generation is so gadget-centric and with the Kindle we thought we could get them to read in a gadget-centric format," Hammond said.

The students participate in Kindle clubs, where they would meet in the library and use the devices to read books. Since the club was started, there has been a 12.1 percent increase in the amount of time the students have spent reading.  Students, when asked, estimated that they've read 31.2 percent more books this year over last year.

How students present the information they are taking from books is also changing, thanks to technology.

In the past, students would write book reports and critiques and turn them in to a teacher. Now, students are posting the critiques on online blogs that other students can view and comment on. Additionally, students are also creating and narrating video book reports that involve pictures and graphics. '

More at the Public Opinion Online site.

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  1. Hi Andrys, I really enjoy your excellent blog, very informative.

    You have probably mentioned this in one of your previous blogs, but I missed it - the question of some books which we can buy in any bookstore but not being available as an e-book in South Africa. The rationale behind this completely escapes me. It seems that in some weird way publishers want to force us to buy paper books by even making some e-books more expensive than the hard cover equivalent or maybe making the hard cover cheaper? Will this change?

    Check the following blog, even in S A your name is mentioned in the first blog.


  2. Louise,
    Thanks for the forwarding of the blog article. Yes, it all has to do with "digital-media rights" which involve software and are more stringent when it comes to global country borders -- and e-books are considered software.

    See the Comments area of the following particular blog article recently for more on that:

    The article itself points out how upset publishers are when Amazon's processes allow customers to change countries once (or more) because many customers are temporarily stationed in another country or have moved.

    As far as some of the larger publishers (mainly the "Big5") wanting to discourage e-book buying in favor of maintaining hardcover sales, yes, it has certainly seemed that way.

    Amazon is forced to go with the Big 5 and Apple Agency rules, but they can price the hardcover books lower so they often do that. Hardovers are not covered by the Agency fixed-pricing for all online stores and are based on the traditional wholesaler arrangement in which the publisher gets paid a guaranteed amount (which benefits the author too since the guaranteed amount is usually about 50% of publisher's own set list price no matter what the bookseller charges its own customers for the books).

    The Big5 publishers are, in effect, slowing the huge growth of e-books in that many customers won't pay the higher prices being set by them. The Big5 are also suffering in slower hardcover sales this year while Random House (which would not join the Agency plan and therefore their books are not allowed in Apple's iBook store) is doing better this year than last year. Random House is the largest publisher of general books.

  3. I'm a librarian who is researching eBook readers to make available to our patrons. Is it true that Kindles are restricted to content from Amazon?

    I understand that each Kindle unit has its own account. If you need multiple copies of an e-book, you must purchase a copy of the e-book for each Kindle you have. If you wanted to loan out multiple copies of a resource to patrons, you would need to purchase multiple Kindle units installed with that resource. Is this correct?

  4. Ross,
    One account can share any given Amazon Kindle book with up to 5 other Kindles or Kindle-compatible devices, at no extra charge.

    No, you're not restricted to Kindle books from Amazon. See for other sources.

    You should be able to use 6 Kindles for any one book if the publisher allows that many devices to share a book under ONE account (the account owner must pay for the original book).

    Standard is 6 devices. Some publishers allow only four devices. The limit is on the product page for the book.

    Many families and close friends share an account. Libraries everywhere do too.

  5. Hi Andrys,
    Thanks s much for your reply which (nearly) gave me hope.
    But now I understand that Amazon had their arm twisted (?) so should you change your location this is the letter you get from Amazon:-
    I see that you attempted to purchase "XXX" while in a different country than the United States listed on your Amazon account. Certain Kindle titles are not available everywhere. We are reaching out to you to ensure the best possible service for your account.

    If you have moved to a different country, you can easily update your country for your Amazon account at

    If this is not the case, and you would like to share information that you live in the United States, we can be reached by fax at 001-206-266-1838 from outside the US, or 206-266-1838 from within the US. Helpful information includes:
    – Passport
    – Military ID
    – Permanent Resident Card
    – Driver’s License
    – Other state photo identity card

    Do I laugh or cry?
    Louise from South Africa

  6. Louise,
    I guess you have no U.S. address you can use if you're in South Africa only on a temporary basis, whether for work reasons or otherwise.

    But you have one feature people in France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and a few other countries don't have and that is free 3G web access 24/7.

    Re the books, if you can find an online store that sells ePub versions and will sell them to South Africa, you could use the free Adobe e-book Reader for PC or Mac and read them that way. I am able to do that here. But a laptop or pc/mac solution is not what you're after. I wish I could help.

  7. Thanks you have helped


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