As pilot programs at seven universities around the country wrap up their evaluations of the Kindle DX as a viable teaching tool and textbook alternative, we see pretty much the expected results. The eReader that has been such a pleasure to use in leisure is perhaps not quite ready for the academic scene.
Humanities classes, especially Literature classes which it would otherwise seem that the Kindle is ideally suited to, tend to involve active reading aids such as highlighting, annotation, page marking, etc. These habits are built up over years as students work their way through their programs. Most of these options are present in the Kindle software in some form, of course, and the ability to access your changes and notes on any platform is a major plus, but the device itself has a coupe minor shortcomings in speed and input design that haven’t quite been fully worked out yet.
As development continues and successive versions make the Kindle more responsive, feature-packed, and convenient to annotate, we’re sure to see things change. For now, those students who are willing to cope with the minor inconveniences are already enjoying savings of sometimes as much as 75% on texts for their classes, a savings which easily pays for the device itself over the course of a college career.