Friday, February 25, 2011

Kindles (and Nooks) Go to School


Technically, they’re not supposed to be there.

Of course, neither are cell phones, and we all know half the students have cell phones in their pockets or their backpacks. I insist my daughters bring their phones to school, in fact, just so we can coordinate after school play practice, who is picking up which children, etc.

So nobody ought to be surprised that ebook readers are coming to school, too. A recent New York Times article reports a sharp rise in the number of young ebook owners. Thanks, Al Past, for sending me the link!

It was not so long ago that people were predicting publishers would not bother to produce children’s and teen’s titles in ebook format, because it was assumed children would not own ebook readers. I even recall seeing a comment on a First Five submission at YALitchat which suggested the author should remove mention of the teen MC reading on a Kindle. “Teens don’t have Kindles.” Oh, yes they do – and so do elementary school students.

So far, my own children don’t own one of their own, but they both have scooped up my Kindle when I’m not using it. I ordered a book specifically for Gina, at her request, and Gabbey has been reading Sherlock Holmes stories, which I downloaded for 99 cents because I’m teaching them in class and it was easier than lugging books around. The New York Times article mentions that as well – that kids are reading more classics because they are free or priced very cheaply.

It’s a revolution, of sorts. And a good one, I think.

How about you? Seen any Nooks and Kindles in young hands recently? Would you buy one for your own kids? What role could they/should they have in school?

5 comments:

  1. I'm not around that age group on a daily basis anymore, but it doesn't surprise me at all that they would be fast-adopters of a new reading technology. In fact, if anything, I'd say e-readers would encourage kids who might not otherwise willingly pick up a book to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My 11 yo doesn't want one, but he does want an iPod touch (which is what I use for my ebooks). Though I have a feeling it isn't for books.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm not surprised. Although I would probably have begged for an iPad at that age... I read a lot of comics as a kid and now they have digital subscriptions. Awesome!

    I'm not sure why there was so much resistance about e-readers--even I was all like "you can pry my paper books out of my cold dead hands", but now I read almost exclusively on my Nook, even though I have dozens of paper books I need to read. And to think kids would resist TECHNOLOGY (Hello, McFly!), even e-readers, is a pretty silly notion.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's a kindle / ipad world now. And I own both. Yes, I'm a spoiled american. BTW...if you're interested I'd love to feature your book on my site – bloggerdise.com. Thanks, Jesse

    ReplyDelete
  5. I see many kids at Barnes & Noble with Nooks. Now that the color Nooks are interactive there may well be more kids with them. That was one of the reasons why B&N went to the color screen. I think bringing the Nook into schools is a great idea. I'm a fast reader but my speed increases dramatically on the nook (non-color). I think it is due to the screen that is not backlit, in addition to the font and reading a single page. It would be great for kids with reading difficulties as they can highlight text, get definitions etc. I think it's better than brining some of the other crap that some kids bring into school.

    ReplyDelete