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Kindle 2 Can Advance Literacy

February 12, 2009

kindle 2 (b)Sure, the Kindle 2 digital reader is hot.  Thinner than a cell phone.  Improved maneuverability. Crisper pages.  Faster page turns.  What’s not to love for $359?

If you can read.  

But this generation of Kindle contains a function that might actually appeal to the 90 million non-readers in the marketplace–it reads aloud.  The voice is robotic:  it’s still “experimental” and is not yet worthy of being an “audio book.”   BUT–if word recognition is difficult for you, Kindle 2 may well be the first gee-whiz hi-tech devise for adults that can help a struggling reader’s climb toward literacy.  Now you can read the book and listen to the audio simultaneously without buying two books–one print, one audio.

Of course, that leaves the price tag as the only obstacle.  Most people who can’t read can’t fork out even one C-note for the latest gadget, let alone three.

So let’s get creative and overcome the pricing obstacle and get this sexy little gadget in position to make the world a more literate place.

  • Libraries should buy Kindle 2’s and make them available for loan, like regular books.
  • Publishers and literacy-friendly foundations should grant money to literacy organizations to buy the books to be used in literacy classes.
  • School systems and Adult Basic Education centers at community colleges may need to chain some down, but they could assign use of the Kindles for low-level readers trying to keep up with the class while making them available on-site.
  • And Kindle should be offering major institutional discounts for these kinds of uses.

Somebody call Jeff Bezos.

The technology is finally here.  Let’s figure out how to create and develop readers with it.

[P.S.  When will I personally buy a Kindle 2 or any digital reader?  When I can get the book in print AND digital form for the price of the book.  If anyone can make that happen, it’s Amazon…and publishers should be rushing to encourage it.]

 

© David P. Leach and Consequential Value, 2009

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    February 13, 2009 12:46 pm

    I read about Kindle 2 and I realize they don’t have anything on the Leapster system your 3 year old grandchild owns.

  2. February 13, 2009 3:00 pm

    Actually, Leapster is probably better for the younger crowd.

  3. February 17, 2009 10:00 pm

    Taking a lead from the cell phone industry, publishers or book sellers (like Word), could sell the Kindle 2 in a package deal of a one or two-year commitment to a book a month.

  4. February 18, 2009 8:26 am

    Great idea, Bro.

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