I’m just about to embark on the programme and wondered about purchasing an Amazon Kindle

I’ve asked colleagues at my institution (De Montfort University) about compatability issues with our electronic resources – and the answer that came back was ‘probably better to stick with an iPad‘.

There’s a recent article on e-books at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/08/31/ebooks

Any views, experiences or advice from the programme team or other students?

11 thoughts on “e-books”

  1. Hi Ros: Interestingly the article (this link better) doesn’t refer to the Kindle 3, which is now at a price point (£109) that makes it rather competitive with the Ipad (£429), notwithstanding its mono screen and more limited functionality. A friend showed me his new K3 last night and there is something quite compelling about it. I’m on record as saying that narrowly defined e-books (like the earlier Kindles) are a dead end (I said it somewhere in WebCT, I think, so you’ll never find it ;). However, at the price, and with its extra features like wifi, web browsing and PDF support, I think the new Kindle has got to be a contender, even just to experiment with what might be possible. So I ordered one – I will let you know how I get on.

  2. Great – the reviews all look promising. I like the idea of limited functionality – distraction comes too easy to me! And the relative cost is definitely a bonus.

  3. Personally, as the owner of one of the older Kindles, I’d want to know what the PDF support in the new ones entailed, exactly, before I committed (I love my Kindle, but for leisure reading, not for work). For mine it involves converting each individual PDF into a Kindle-readable format and it’s a bit hit and miss.

  4. I’ve been using an iPad since it came out and I use it with the Kindle Reader (free) App allowing full Amazon connection and functionality from my Amazon account; including finding some of the texts for IDEL–. I find the reading experience excellent and the ability to use color PDFs, video, email, syncing my iPod music, as well as a bunch of dedicated apps, gives it wide spectrum appeal.
    Unexpectedly after taking it into seminars I found colleagues reaching for it to do Google searches in order to illustrate points they were discussing.
    If you like films it will also stream video over wi-fi.

  5. I’ve been playing with the Kindle app on iPad & iPhone, and also on a Mac laptop. Integration of markup across all applications – positively magical, in the Arthur C. Clarke sense.

  6. I use the Kindle app on my iPhone – not ideal, but it does at least mean I can carry loads of books with me and not break my back, its always with me for those annoying few minutes in the day when you find yourself having to wait about, and if I come across an interesting reference I can search for it immediately and have it downloaded within minutes. I have another app that reads pdfs and Word docs so I have something to read with me all the time without having to plan each time I go out. I also have a neat little netbook with my whole life on it!

  7. I find it hard to decide between the iPad and e-ink systems like the Kindle. The latter makes reading much more comfortable but the iPad is more versatile thanks to its better access to the web (as far as I know, the Kindle’s connectivity is worse than the iPad’s in Europe). That can also set it apart from an educational perspective.

  8. So anyway the Kindle arrived at last and I think it might be just the thing (I’m certainly taking to it in a way I never took to Google Wave! 😉

    Lots of “book-like” functionality, but also some interesting “Web 2.0” features – plenty of food for thought and scope for experimentation, esp with Our Favourite Subject in mind. I’m already looking forward to reclaiming the shelf-space used by my more tatty Penguin Classics.

  9. Another interesting feature: you can email PDF, Word and HTML docs to “your-kindle@free.kindle.com” and Amazon converts them and sends them to your Kindle. (You have to specify which email addresses or domains are authorised to send to your Kindle.) It got me thinking how this approach could streamline delivery of course material…

    I can’t imagine it’ll be long before some institution or education authority somewhere in the world does a deal with Amazon (or similar) to provide Kindles (or similar) to students along with the mechanisms to deliver content in conjunction with a VLE.

    If anyone hears of such an initiative please let me know. (I have a bet on with a techno-sceptic…)

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