Tuesday, August 31, 2010

eReaders in Schools?

Based on my own experiences, as well as attached info, I'm prepared to recommend the B&N Nook WiFi ($149) for school district use. Here's why I think it's the best choice (over the Amazon Kindle):
  • Nook works with Calibre, a free tool for managing and converting content to work on the Nook
  • The Nook is compatible--like the iPad--with the standard ePub ebook format (other tools like Kindle are not).
  • It's much less expensive than iPad which also reads ePub with Stanza
  • Hundreds of Classics, required reading content are available in a format viewable on the Nook
  • WiFi version lacks an internet browser
  • Single function device (reading, audio)

What am I missing?

eReaders in Schools
KINDLE 2 WiFiNoOK WiFi (Recommended)
Weight10.2oz11.2 oz
WirelessWiFiYes only WiFi
ConnectivityUSB 2.0USB multiple syncs
Screen Size6" 16 level gray scale6"  16 level grayscale
Touch ScreenNoYes
MP3 PlayerYesYes
Memory2Gb (1500 books)2Gb Flash
Battery Timeup to 2 weeks10 days
Supported ebook FormatsAZW,txt,mobi,prc,aa,mp3PDF, EPUB, eReader, PDB, JPG, GIF, PNG, MP3

Other formats supported with Calibre (free) Converter: LIT, HTML, MOBI
Additional FeaturesBrowser,
Kindle allows owner to check email and news,
Non replaceable battery
  1. Can be unregistered
  2. Not allow shopping in bookstore;
  3. No Browser
  4. MAC or PC  
  5. Only allows shopping in B&N store
  6. Can turn off WiFi or place in Airplane mode.
  7. Replaceable battery

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Will DeLamater said...

Excellent chart, Miguel. I don't think you are missing anything. The problem arises when schools commit to a closed system like Amazon's; the flood of epub material coming in the next few years just won't run on a Kindle. Now the Nook is an inferior device--no question--but it opens a window on the widest horizons of ebook use in education, while the Kindle cracks a window onto what Amazon supports with its proprietary ebook format.

Dennis McElroy said...

Unfortunately, I think it is short sighted to look at a single purpose ereader. It is much more cost effective to look at a device like the iPad which provides approximately 90% of a laptop's functionality at a fraction of the price and with better performance. An ereader is just that...a one hit wonder. Think of all of the other things we could have students do with a much more versatile device. I also wonder if the ereader in question meets ADA guidelines. The Kindle does not. The iPad does. Schools need to be very careful about this as Arizona State found out. A lawsuit was filed there over the use of the Kindle.

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