Here's a link to an article about a neighboring school division that will issue tablets to all students in grades 8-12 next year. This might be a good opportunity to monitor their progress and learn from their implementation process.
I wonder what all an Earth Science/Astronomy teacher could do with Google Sky Map?
I have the Droid app on my phone and its pretty cool. One of the interesting things is that you can use it during the day when you can't see the stars. You can see the position of planets along the ecliptic as well. I don't teach either subject, but imagine each student taking a tablet home with the app on a clear night. Homework might include:
Take a picture of the moon. What phase is it in?
What is the altitude of Mars? In what constellation will it be in tomorrow night?
The key is making the app more than just a novelty but an educational resource.
Once we get whatever devices we're be testing, you'll need to be sure and download the Kindle app:
You'll also want to check out Google Books:
I'd love to know, too, if there are apps that aid struggling readers.
I teach English and have been using iPods in my classroom for over two years now. What I've found is that, as an e-reader, some kids really enjoy the iPods. They aren't intimidated by the size of the book, and they can put their heads on the desks a still read. However, the biggest complaint is the size. Many students wish the device was larger and easier to hold. It would seem that iPads would be a better way to go, but I haven't decided whether spending $400 for an iPad is better than spending $400 for a great netbook (especially when the netbook can print and easily connect to a projector without special cables).
While I personally love my Kindle, I don't think I would recommend them for a classroom because they are so one-dimensional. With an iPod/iPad/tablet, you can incorporate more than just reading. I frequently use mine for research and polling, as well as brainstorming and notetaking. These are things that a Kindle or Nook can't do.
If I were in a position to buy a class set of devices, I'm really not sure if I would go with iPods, iPads, misc. tablets, or netbooks. I do know that I would purchase something that can be used for many purposes other than reading. While you may not need the features now, you may find that after 6 months, you are more comfortable with the function of the device and want to try other activities.