Recently, our school has waded into the eReader territory by purchasing seventy Nook’s from Barnes & Noble. Our building principal was able to acquire the Nooks through a generous local grant.
Nooks were selected over iPads because the focus was meant to be strictly reading (there are some other initiatives with iPads taking shape, more to come on that in the future, hopefully). Also, Nooks were chosen instead of the Kindle because our school already has done fundraising activities with a local Barnes & Noble, so there was already a relationship cultivated. Plus, from my experience, Nooks and Kindles are so similar in terms of what they actually do and the functions they have, that the differences are negligible.
The Immediate challenges I see are this:
What’s the best way to charge them? Unlike iPods or iPads, there is not a convenient eReader cart that will charge multiple eReaders at once. Although the batteries do last for quite a while since they’re using e-ink and not an LCD display, the more cumbersome it is to do something simple like charging the device, the less likely it is that teachers will actually use them with students.
Security. How can these eReaders be locked up and secured but still be portable so that they can be shred from class to class?
Content. Our Barnes & Noble rep has told us that if we buy one book, it can be put on 6 different Nooks, which is great. Over the long run, this will hopefully save a little money. But what type of structured way will we have to get content on the Nooks that kids will actually want to read? (I suspect ournmedia specialist will hav e a lot of say in this along with the students.)
Promotion If teachers never want to integrate them into their classroom, or if it becomes to ineffective for students to check them out and bring them home, they’ll be wasted. So, how can we effectively promote the use of these devices so that they will spark a desire to read more?
Any thoughts? Has your school tried eReaders and if so, what are your successes or pitfalls? Voracious readers want to know!