[LINK] Kindle survey: good for reading, bad for study

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Sun May 30 08:37:49 AEST 2010

Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/26/kindle_flunks_out_of_college/
>> ... students don't read textbooks, they use textbooks ...

Yes. I found the Amazon Kindle e-book fine for reading for pleasure but
not much use for study. The problem is that it is difficult to
make notes on, or look up related web references. A $400 netbook is much
more useful.

>> traditional hard-copy textbook is more usable ... than an ebook. ...

No, point this author and many others are missing is that the "e-book" 
is the content, not hardware. You can read an ebook on just about any 
sort of computer: you don't need special hardware. Ebooks work fine for 
study or work, just not on e-book readers: a netbook, laptop or ordinary 
desktop computer is better. For the ANU and ACS courses I teach, the 
students are supplied with e-books via the learning management system, 
readable on any web browser.

The ANU engineering e-learning unit is acquiring samples of e-book
hardware and tablet computers for evaluation. I borrowed the Kindle to
try. It was fine for reading a novel for pleasure and the Kindle version
of my Green ICT Book displayed fine on it, but useless for study:

On Friday I tried an Apple iPad at the Apple store in Sydney and on 
Saturday a US sourced model. The iPad worked fine and looks more useful 
than a Kindle for education, but still not as good as a $400 netbook: 

I will be discussing this at the Moodle Moot in Melbourne:

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Lecturer, The Australian National University t: 02 61255694
Computer Science http://cs.anu.edu.au/user/3890

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