Our principal, Mr. Conrad, has generously purchased four e-readers for student use.
I chose the Barnes and Noble NOOK Simple Touch Reader for a number of reasons:
1. Institutional accounts are not one-to-one for our small amount of devices, the way that the Kindle is. Meaning, the 20 e-books that I purchased are accessible on all four devices, because they are all registered to our single account. My B & N rep did warn me, however, that that may change in the future.
2. The Simple Touch does not have a browser and students are not able to purchase content since they cannot get on our school protected wireless network without a password, which is guarded like the crown jewels around here.
3. B & N e-books are in ePub format, which is less proprietary and incompatible the way that Kindle’s .azw format is. I’m hoping that is a signal that B & N has an inkling to work with schools and libraries, since the devices that students learn on in school will likely form habits for future purchasing decisions…
We purchased 20 titles from varying genres and currently have them available for use in the library. As we get our feet wet with this and get the word out to students, we will probably expand the program into a checkout option. We will likely do so with parent permission and agreement of responsibility.
So far, students have expressed quite a bit of interest and I hear a lot of “These are cool!” statements as they play with them.