Hello, I am currently working with several colleagues to determine which would be better for the classroom: The Nook, The Kindle or The Ipad. Funding will be grant-based and would support the purchase of one of these technologies. I'm wondering if anybody else has used these in the classroom and what their impressions are? I currently own an Ipad and love it for the numerous apps available and its functionality as an ereader. The one downside to the Ipad is the allure of numerous apps that distract the students and its price point. On the flipside, a simple ereader is limited to just that, reading. We have tried netbooks and they haven't been very successful due to the limited memory, startup times and network issues. What are everybody's thoughts, experiences or recommendations?

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I have not seen any of them used in class. We have a teacher piloting the use of the iPad this year and she seems to have the same mixed feelings as you. I just got a Kindle for Christmas, and while I haven't had a lot of time to play with it, I'm not sure it would provide the most benefit in the classroom because, as you mention, it is just for reading. While it could be beneficial for showing highlighting and some brief notes while reading, there isn't much else. Even with some of the distractions, I would think the iPad would have more to offer at this time.

I'm not much help, but thought I'd throw out my few thoughts... The good news is that I think there is much more to come for all of these devices.

I don't have much to offer except:


  • A B&N rep told me that they have a discount for every 6 Nooks you buy ... not sure about Kindle. I would look into any school/educational discounts for all.
  • The Kindle gets the best ease-of-use ratings, and I personally find it easier to use than the Nook, which is a selling point.
  • But I still favor the Nook due to being able to check out e-books from public libraries ... so far you can't do that with the Kindle.
  • I think the Nook and Kindle have more functions than what you mention when you consider wifi, audiobooks, etc. But I have not explored that much.
  • My understanding is that the Nook (non-color) and Kindle are e-ink and easier on the eyes than the ipad.
  • It really does depend on your intentions. I would love to get Nooks or Kindles for our Reading classrooms, but the ipad is certainly the way to go if you need/want more functionality (say, for Math and Science classrooms). Except "functionality" all depends on whether you have network issues, and we certainly have experienced the problems you mention as we've introduced laptop carts to several classrooms.

If you are looking for just an ereader, the Ipad is overkill, especially if you are limited on funding.  The Distractablity factor is big as well. 

My experience with the Kindle in the classroom is iffy.  A big draw back is the lack of page numbers.  The Kindle marks progress by percentage.  So if the teacher were to ever say "Class: Look at Chapter 4, page 5, paragraph 2" it would be impossible to find. (Well possible, but very challenging) Sounds like a small thing, but in the whole group classroom setting, its a downfall.

If you are planning on using your eReader with younger students, I was very impressed by the interactiveness and color that the Nook (Color) offers.

One thing with the Kindle, though, is that they identify by location in the book. So you could get them to a specific 'page' by telling them to find a location. It is challenging, especially if you had students with special needs, but it could work.

Dare I ask?


What are you tryng to *do* with this technology?


Adding the tech for the sake of the tech is not exactly a winning scenario.


What instructional goal are you trying to accomplish?

What educational problem are you trying to address by the addition of these tools?

What's the advantage of this from factor over another?


Answer those questions and you may have a rationale for making a decision.


Kindle is the killer because of the number of titles, but are you going to buy the books? What books? Why?


Nook is pretty. Interface gets pretty high marks but you're limited to B&N's bookstore for the most part.


Ipad is an obvious choice because you can run the apps that let you access *any* of the ereaders you want to use ...


But I'm back to "why? what are you going to do with them?"


And I'd probably go one step further and ask how will you assess whether or not the investment is worthwhile? What metrics will you use to determine the outcomes? (this is not a trick question, but rather a challenge for you to move beyond a no-significant-difference media comparison study) Answering those questions will make the grant-funding request much more robust. 



Dear Nathan,

Your comments are astute, of course, but it is more fun to ride a wave, then to analyse why.

The "e-readers", represent the new wave of technology and are all limited by their individual characteristics.

I had the opportunity to "play" with an iPad over the Holidays. I do mean play. I spent more time playing "Angry Birds" than exploring the other less entertaining aspects of the device. I bought two Nooks for my neices and a color Nook for my girlfriend. They are geared toward reading rather than entertainment. Easy to use and appeal to actual reading.

iPublishing software is available and will soon be widely available for all eReaders. Lessons, assaignments, homework, and quizzes can be transmitted to these devices.

What I see in the future, is a handheld, truly multi-functional device that will incorporate all the right features for classroom use. YUP! No ANGRY BIRDS!  The seventh wave, the largest of the set.

 SURF'S UP! Moon Doggie!


Nathan, good comments and analysis of the devices. And yes, I may have heard the Moon Dog comment at least once before.

Don't get me wrong, John. I think they're great devices, but too often we use technology because we can, not because we should.


Playing with them is a great idea and one I heartily approve of.


Chris said, "I am currently working with several colleagues to determine which would be better for the classroom: The Nook, The Kindle or The Ipad."


The problem, as I pointed out, is that "better" is really a contextual construct and the context is not "classroom" as much as "purpose."


I think what I'd like to see in the future is more learning and less classroom, but I'm an iconoclast ...


Is there an Angry Birds app for Blackberry? I'll have to look.

Dear Nathan,

As I vendor of EdTech Goodies, I am constantly searching for new products and applications that I hope to sell and continue to pay the rent. I readily and heartily agree that tech for tech's sake, is not an ehancement for learning.

Our current crop on senior engineers and scientists did not grow up playing video games. Thank God they they did not exist during my formative years.


Over the next 12 months, there will be a flurry of new tablet readers. I do favor the dual screen devices. This format just makes a little more functional sense then a single screen device.

Textbook publishers stand to dramatically increase their profits. The eTextbooks are not cheap. The pricing is based on an equivalent to purchasing basis, rather than a cost basis.

The winner in the category will "touch all the bases" and have a strong marketing channel.

We'll see what develops...


PS: I am not much a "gamer", I get disgusted rather quickly when I hit a level that I cannot complete. I never did get past level 3 on Super Mario Brothers...I figured that the Princess will be better off without my help.

have you looked at the Kno textbook tablet?

Hey CP,

I took a quick look at the "Kno" text gizmo...the style is right on..not too many details on the specs, but the overall concept is looking good. I did not sign up for an invitation....looks like a sales gimmick to me. Besides, I never get invited to anything anyway.

Most manufacturers are focused on the consumer electronics market, a far larger market than education, and not dependent upon public funding.

The "do-it-all" cross platform, wireless, electronic notebook will be the product of choice, first in Higher education, then through high-tech welll funded school districts.
School lessons, i-whiteboard, e-texts, annotation, student response, etc...all wrapped up and ready to go.


Advice on your TeacherTech lesson plan idea= "Build it and they will come", I'll publish it on my website.



Dear CP,

I am always looking forward to new products and solutions. Do you recall the names of those new bi-folds?

I really do like the bi-fold concept. Two screens are always better than one. The note taking and annotating features are perfect. If I had an extra grand laying around, I'd buy one....at $990 it is a little on the high end.






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