Kindle for textbooks

Amazon will debut a larger-screen Kindle designed for textbooks and magazines, reports the Wall Street Journal. The new Kindle will include an updated web browser.

Beginning this fall, some students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will be given large-screen Kindles with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed, said Lev Gonick, the school’s chief information officer. The university plans to compare the experiences of students who get the Kindles and those who use traditional textbooks, he said.

Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State also will try out the new Kindles.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. I bet the textbook companies LOVE this. Kills the used-book market dead, because they can write in a clause that the particular copy be only used on one Kindle device and be non-transferrable.

    Then again, it will also kill the tendency of students to sell back their textbooks the week before finals (because they get more money).

    I don’t see smaller public institutions doing this – they can’t afford to provide every student a Kindle, and at least where I teach, it would be seen as another burden on a student populace that is already not doing that well financially. (And I kind of hope they don’t. Do they make the faculty buy Kindles so they can continue to use the textbooks?)

  2. Mark Roulo says:

    I bet the textbook companies LOVE this. Kills the used-book market dead, because they can write in a clause that the particular copy be only used on one Kindle device and be non-transferrable.

    They will until the DRM gets hacked and students start downloading textbooks for free (like they do MP3 files today).

    -Mark Roulo

  3. It might work out well if an $80 paper textbook could be made available on Kindle for, say, $30. Of course, that will never happen if a university just decides on behalf of its student population to force everyone to use it rather than giving students a choice.

  4. Virgil says:

    When it comes down to it do we really need textbooks. And as for university use, they will require the texts be purchased as there is way to much revenue to lose if they would go this route.

  5. I long for the day when all students have laptops, and all their books come on DVD-ROMs. Then, all they have to do is print out stuff when necessary, or desired.

    Of course, there will always be print versions of textbooks; such as having a few copies in the libarary for reference, and students having the option to order a print copy for full price if they wish (which I’m sure that some, but not many, would take up the offer).

    Of course, this dream is still a few decades a way; everything from students’ self-discipline with technology to the cost of laptops to textbook companies overcoming current politics will have to change first. But it will… It’s just a matter of time.