FunctionsREAL WORLD: Using this app means that you are teaching them to use an app that they are very likely to use outside of school. Although each student needs to set up an account, it is not necessary to input any credit card or billing information into the account to receive free books either from the Amazon website or if using the function through the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Library.
FIRST CHAPTER FREE: Even books to purchase offer the First Chapter Free, which could be very useful if you only wanted to use an excerpt in class.
FREE, FREE, FREE: Although there are thousands of free books for literature and history use, science and math can find textbooks from the CK12 Foundation through Amazon.
COLLECTIONS: If Kindle for PC is used by multiple classrooms, then the books can be grouped into "Collections" or classes. Books can be added to multiple collections.
MULITI-PLATFORMS & MULTI-USAGE: If the student also uses a Smartphone or has a Kindle, the content, highlights, bookmarks will sync across wi-fi.
How We Use in Indiana Studies Class
Some of our reading in this class used Adobe Reader on the netbooks with scanned pdfs, so the students were ready to branch off into an app that had more functionality. We are finishing the semester with the book, A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. A Girl of the Limberlost was written in 1909 and has a Lexile level of 850. The setting and vocabulary were unfamiliar to my students, but they discovered the dictionary function right away. Our guiding question for this lesson was to discover the differences between Porter's time in Indiana and our own. The book's setting is at the onset of the Industrial Age before the 13,000 acre Limberlost swamp was deforested and drained. Juxtaposing the loss of nature in the book with the joys (and pains) of the technology we are using to read it, the students are truly conflicted. There is a stark contrast in just the last 100 years. Our class blog with instructions for the students can be found here: http://ais-indiana.blogspot.com/
The students enjoyed the process of finding all the free books that were available to them and were impressed that once a book was downloaded that it was held in the Amazon Cloud reserved just for them. Virtually all the classics and many first books in a series are available free. The students were also able to personalize their reading screen, so be sure to allow time for them to adjust it for their comfort.
|Student using personalized reading screen.|
In the process of getting Kindle for PC to work, we encountered some issues with netbooks needing updates and student accounts, so we also investigated the website Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/) and found our text and audio available for free there as well. Some of the students chose this option so that they could listen while they followed along in the text.
|Student using Kindle Cloud Reader|
Most of the students opted to carry on with learning the Kindle App. Here is how to install on the netbook:
1. Teacher or administrator needs to install the app, so sign in as yourself. The direct link to download Kindle for PC is here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311 Once installed, verify that the Kindle shortcut is on your desktop. Log off.
2. Student will sign in. Click the Start button and type in Kindle. The shortcut will appear. It is a fairly large program and takes patience to allow to load the first time. A pop up screen will appear, asking the student for his account info. At the bottom is a line to create an account. Student email and address are required. It did not work if you clicked to continue without registering.
3. Once an account is created, Kindle for PC will open with some sample free books. On the top right, there is a search button for students to select the book they need.
What creative ideas do you have on using an ebook reader in your classroom? If you have used Kindle or another ebook reader in your class, please share how you have used it and resources available that helped you.