This week’s cover of Newsweek features the article by Steven Levy about Amazon’s new reader “The Kindle” an electronic “book”. Not only will you be able to download and read books, but subscribe to newspapers and RSS feeds. It allows .pdf files to be stored on it. The Kindle has changeable fonts and allows term cross referencing. Levy says “Amazon believes it has created the iPod of reading”.
The implication of this tool for our students is the power it will have on their research, as illustrated in the following paragraph:
Google’s people have thought about how this connectivity could actually affect how people read. Adam Smith, product director for Book Search, says the process is all about “getting rid of the idea that a book is a [closed] container.” One of his colleagues, Dan Lansing, describes how it might work: “Say you are trying to learn more about the Middle East, and you start reading a book, which claims that something happened in a particular event in Lebanon in ’81, where the author was using his view on what happened. But actually his view is not what [really] happened. There’s newspaper clippings on the event, there are other people who have written about it who disagree with him, there are other perspectives. The fact that all of that is at your fingertips and you can connect it together completely changes the way you do scholarship, or deep investigation of a subject. You’ll be able to get all the world’s information, all the books that have been published, all the world’s libraries.”
If there was ever a time to justify why we need technology and 21st century literacy skills in school, read the article