Amazon just announced their new e-book reader, the Kindle. It is pricey, $400, but I think the idea is pretty stellar. A super-easy to read screen (not like a laptop screen) that works in any light and is high resolution. Big previous/next page buttons to help you flip through the books. And you can download books anywhere there is cellular service (with no plan needed to buy). Books are a little expensive, from about $8-16, but at least I can feel good not having to buy paper (while feeling bad about adding more poisonous electronics to the world, hmmm).
I can imagine myself on the subway, on a flight, on my sofa or at my desk reading Love in the Time of Cholera (what I'm reading right now) with the lightweight, simple e-book reader. Some people think it's terrible, but I think they're not focused on what the product is for. It is not a laptop, not meant to be a laptop. Laptops are good at other things, but not for reading books on.
If I had to wish for a use in schools? Well, every student would have a Kindle with all of their textbooks on it. Then, that's all they'd have to carry around, and it is lighter than the average paperback. I would consider one feature - the ability to take notes/highlight digitally on the Kindle. The other feature I'd like to see personally is the ability to send (and lose access to) an e-book I'm finished with to a friend. You could even charge me a buck or two, but passing on/receiving books is one of my favorite past times.
Keep it up Amazon, we're getting there...
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