eBook update

A while back on my to-do list, I mentioned that eBooks of some sort were on our horizon at school. After 18 months of research, debate, throwing hands up in the air in despair, presentations from vendors, school-based surveys and talking to others we decided to buy three Kindles to trial.

Although we’ve just gone 1:1 in years 9 and 1o and we wanted students to be able to read eBooks on their Dell tablet, we couldn’t find a solution that fitted financially and technically.

So the minute I got the go ahead to try some Kindles, I raced to the car and down to the local retailer. We decided to make the Kindles genre-based and each has a different colour cover.

So we began with:

  • scifi/fantasy (Hunger Games, etc)
  • classics and relationships
  • mystery/thrillers

Each Kindle has about 30 books. Students are allowed to borrow for two weeks, the same period as other library books, however a signed form from home has to be submitted before borrowing. There’s been a few interesting results…

  1. A boy who read Pride and prejudice since it was on the Kindle. He wouldn’t have ever borrowed a copy, but he said he actually enjoyed reading it.
  2. A non-reader had his nose stuck in the Kindle during a reading lesson and was desperate to borrow it!

 So far so good. The challenge will be to keep promoting them.

On a different note, I bought a Kindle for my 9 year old niece. She’s addicted to it and has read 14 books in two weeks. Some of the books had 400 odd pages, so another success. I like that the Kindle is just for reading and there’s no distractions like when I read on the iPad.

Library to do list 2012

So I returned to work yesterday and very pleased to be back. I have a lot of things on my to do list this year and now I’m 0.4, I’ve got more of a chance of achieving them. So here goes:

Ereader survey for school website
Diigo for subjects, link to wiki
Pininterest for new books and topics?
Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too
Podcasts for wiki
QR codes for fiction
Add list of useful apps to wiki
Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page
Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10
Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed
Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school

This is above and beyond what will be required of me in terms of providing professional learning for staff. The good news is that the Heads of Library and English support the idea of the Readers Cup wholeheartedly; the Principal agreed to a library Twitter account and I’ve started that as well as a book and reading blog and Diigo account. I’ve linked the blogs to Twitterfeed and Diigo via Packratius. I’m pleased with my progress considering we had meetings until 2.30pm yesterday and I don’t return to work until Monday.

I’m also really pleased how supportive the admin are and most teachers seemed genuinely pleased to be back. I’m looking forward to what else might appear on my radar in 2012. I wonder what it might be? What’s on your 2012 to do list?