I’ve owned a Kindle 2 (http://bit.ly/RZp6y) now for several months and I love it. As I’m using it and experimenting with it, I ponder the potential for these types of eReaders to be adopted in both school counseling and counselor education. I do wonder if it just a matter of time that readers are adopted as paper replacements as the advantages seem to already be significant and will continue to evolve. For instance, there are some distinct advantages that I have found using the Kindle 2:
1. An eReader such as the Kindle is very lightweight and can hold hundreds of files (e.g., articles, books, web page content, newsletters, Microsoft Word reports). For counselor education, I smile when I imagine an entire graduate program’s readings weighing in under 2 pounds and at a significantly reduced cost.
2. As I read from my Kindle, I can highlight notes which are organized by source. Specifically, when I highlight something, I can access the reader or go to the website (in this case, Amazon.com) to get what I highlighted. Similarly, I can annotate by typing in my own notes and retrieve those.
3. I can place electronic bookmarks throughout a book or similar reading which are very quick to access.
4. Using a proprietary 3G network, I can look up phrases in dictionaries, do basic Google searches, search Wikipedia, and more.
5. As I find large documents and research papers online in the form of PDF, I simply email them to my Kindle and they are there for me to read when I want. I can also download them straight to the eReader if its plugged into the computer. In fact, I have downloaded entire volumes of journals and magazine articles from our library and read them on the Kindle without ever printing out a page.
6. You can download a book from Amazon.com in under 1 minute using built in 3G network. Some counseling titles are already available, I bet more are coming.
7. You can publish your own works to Amazon.com for download to Kindle users. This has implications for self publishing at a fraction of the cost of current publishers (I’m sure this one will start some debate). It’s actually easy to do (e.g., see a newsletter I did at http://bit.ly/LuOTT).
8. I just recently found that I can download specific issues of magazines such as Time, Newsweek for about a buck and newspapers for 49 cents.
9. Like the Kindle, many ebook readers also play mp3’s so they can be used for listening to podcasts such as Marty’s (http://www.counseloraudiosource.net/archives.html), lectures, maybe even soft music while you’re reading (maybe future ebook Readers will be able to record audio too, this would be great for both counselors and students who need to record a meeting).
10. The device also remembers the last page read, no more stuffing bookmarks or paper.
11. The Kindle has a text to speech function which would probably work pretty good for the visually impaired or just for someone with tired eyes.
12. You can search your entire collection or just one file for a word or phrase (think looking up student information).
13. Oh, and I got the new Dan Brown book from Amazon.com in under 60 seconds at 12:01 am on the day it was released.
The eBook reader competition is beginning to flare. Check out the new kids on the block
What do you think?
Russ Sabella, Ph.D.