Amazon announces 11,000 libraries to lend out Kindle books. More gamechanging.

Customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 local libraries to read on Kindle and free Kindle reading apps

Whispersyncing of notes, highlights and last page read to work for Kindle library books

Wow, in an incredible marketplace move, Amazon announced that later this year over 11,000 libraries will offer the ability to take out books on any Kindle (the actual device, iPad, iPhone, Android phone, etc). You will be able to highlight and annotate in the books. Then, if you check that book out again, or buy it, it preserves your annotations. It is definitely worth thinking about as schools watch e-reader developments.

I personally have read 10 books via the Kindle app on my Android phone. I have loved it, but have some critiques. That is for another post, I suppose.

Here is the article on Amazon's website, although via an odd URL that they seem to use for news releases.

Mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc) should change education. But how can we do it well?

Mobile devices have become so powerful now it is hard to believe. All of the photos and video in this post were shot on my HTC Evo phone by Sprint. Most, if not all, of the middle and upper school students I work with have phones of this caliber. As a technology director I'm often thinking about how standardized systems support ease of adoption and support in schools. At my school every teachers in the middle and upper school has the same laptop, in the lower school, the faculty have the same laptop. Each student in grades 8-12 has the same laptop in each grade. This means teachers know what students have, and the tech team can easily support them as the knowledge needed is limited by the limited models.

But, if the real issue is certain generic capabilities of the tools (photos, video, writing, audio, Internet access), perhaps standardized equipment is not necessary. I am not convinced by this, but am somewhat enchanted by it. People using their own tools in ways that they are comfortable with. Will that meet the needs of teachers trying to utilize technology for higher-order learning? I don't doubt that it could, but I struggle with how to be strategic in an institution doing it.

Are you letting people bring any device to school? Giving them access to your network? Letting teachers manage dozens of different ways of approaching lesson objectives? What are the advantages? What are the drawbacks?

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Google Reader released for Android

Google Reader, an excellent blog/RSS reader is now available as an app on your Android phone. I have recently come back to Google Reader to keep up with blogs, and I highly recommend it. I have some general categories like photography, education, 21cl (21st century learning), but I love being able to put blogs in multiple categories. For instance, I have a category called, "must read."

Screenshots are from the Google Reader blog announcement. Scan the QR code below to instantly get to the download section of the Android app store.