Like many other school districts, we have been searching for a way to address the eBook issue. Do we go Nook? Sony? Kindle? iPad? What factors do we use to make the decision? What are the long-term implications of the hardware purchase? Are we cutting ourselves out of this market or that by choosing one piece of hardware over another? Then, how do we even make the purchases of books considering our accounting practices which make it either difficult or impossible to follow the rules for some vendors who won't let us purchase books using purchase orders (Nook, Barnes & Noble). Early this year, Mr. Rios-Silva volunteered to take on a pilot of the Reader by Sony and provide us feedback from his 6th grade bilingual classroom, and that he did. I hope his report is as educational for you as it was for me. Thank you, Mr. Rios-Silva, for allowing me to publish your work.
Report on the implementation of the Sony E-readers as a teaching device used in the classroom
LA/SS Bilingual Teacher (6th Grade)
April 30, 2011
The purpose of this document is to provide a detailed account of my experience using Sony e-readers (electronic books) during the past school year.
I received eight Sony e-reader devices from Conroe ISD, via a grant, for use in my classroom based on a document I presented at the beginning of the school year. In it I expressed my plans to use the equipment as yet another way to motivate my students to read more. Current generations are very technologically oriented, and this, together with several of the advantages of the devices, seemed like an excellent opportunity to test the effectiveness of this new media format. I received the devices on November of 2010, however I did not incorporate its use in my classroom until January 2011, since I first had to test them, learn how to use them myself, charge them, and load books in each of them.
Pros and Cons
Based on my observations, I have created the following list of pros and cons of the devices in the classroom.
In spite of the fact that it was difficult to get started using the devices and of the cons mentioned above, I believe the test has been a success because of the fact that the objective of having a new medium to encourage students to read more has been achieved in my classroom.
Before acquiring more of the devices, I would advice that some of the issues mentioned above be addressed, in particular the acquisition of books that can be used in small group (like book sets), more current titles that can be of more interest to the students, and the simplification of some of the technical issues (charging, loading books, etc. of multiple devices at a time).
I am committed to continue finding ways to improve the implementation of this new medium in my classroom, and I plan to research further during the break to make a better use of them during the next school year. I will be happy to answer any question and I will be very appreciative of receiving any comment regarding this report.