Tech Be Nimble
This excerpt of a recent blog post from blogger Mark Isero caught my eye:
"One day, out of exasperation, I loaned my personal Kindle to a student who was a reluctant reader; he loved it. So I thought it might be a good idea to ask other people for their used digital reading devices and to see what would happen. For the first year, there were on five to eight devices, and I loaned them out. I noticed that really skilled readers liked the devices and so did really struggling readers, particularly boys. In particular, struggling readers liked the coolness of the tech, that you can make the text bigger, that you can look up words, that you can have text to speech, and that you can hide what you're reading."
As a former reading specialist, I've been a little old-fashioned about books in the classroom -- kids need to hold the book! They need to turn the pages! They need to smell that delicious old/new book smell! But Mark's point about being able to "hide what you're reading" really resonated with me. For kids who are reading below level, for kids who are reading things that interest them but might be embarrassing, the Kindle is a perfect solution. Actually, now that I think about it, this applies equally to adults (I'm looking at you, 50 Shades of Grey devotees).
What other unexpected affordances have Kindle-users noticed?
Needs change. Technology changes. The best educational technology stays nimble.