Friday, 1 August 2014

Kindling an interest in Kindles

Preparing for next term's teaching by reading parts of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene (about 35,000 lines of poetry published in 1596 - and surprisingly good fun), and I find the Penguin Classics edition (with helpful front matter and over 150 pages of notes) is only £0.77 on Kindle, from Amazon. How much do we use Kindles with our students? My Kindle is great for reading books and  Word docs, and when colleagues send me .pdfs of their draft essays & papers I ask them to send it in Word so I can read it on my Kindle. It's very pleasant to read, you can re-size the text, and click to the footnotes and back with no trouble. Given the squeeze on Library budgets and space there must be scope for exploring their use in HE in more detail. For example, wouldn't marking a load of essays be easier (and quicker) if you took them all away to read on a Kindle (total weight about 170 grams, equivalent to about three essays in hard copy) and then emailed short comments back? This would help with my institution's second biggest priority, to improve student satisfaction with marking and feedback - but that's another story.

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