Classroom Kindles: part 5

I finally got round to using these for the purpose I intended today: as a vehicle for giving worksheets to KS3. Year 9 are completing an assessment entitled, “Who was responsible for the death of JFK?” and they have been working with the conspiracy theories listed on Wikipedia as evidence for their response.

The Wikipedia entry on this is long, detailed and verbose. Even with all the unecessaries cut out, it numbers 27 pages. It also contains some quite complex language. I could have rewritten it, but since the students use Wikipedia as their go-to when it cmes to research homework I wanted to give them the raw material and teach them how to use it properly.

Initially I have created a PDF of the information. I transferred this to the Kindles from the computer. This saved me £12.60 in photocopying charges, and also meant the students were able to instantly look up the words they didn’t know, and search for the information they wanted.

As I suspected, initially the Kindles were a bit of a distraction but after 5 or 10 minutes they were using them for what I had intended. They took to the technology like ducks to water and were very positive. When I asked them at the end who would have preferred a paper version, not one of them put their hand up.

Here are some of their comments:

  • It’s very good because you can use the dictionary to look up words
  • It’s really easy to use
  • It’s too much information to remember so it’s nice to have it in front of you
  • It doesn’t take up much room
  • It’s not very heavy
  • It’s nice to have the dictionary and the information all in one place and note have to have lots of books lying around

Having got them out and charged them in the staffroom a couple of times now, interest is starting to build among other departments, especially English.

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3 Responses to Classroom Kindles: part 5

  1. Dave Gale says:

    Hi.
    This sounds very interesting indeed. I think it was a very good idea to teach them how to filter by giving them raw info in the first place (I suspect wikipedia is many people’s go to place and not just students).

    I think the price is interesting as although you probably wouldn’t have printed out 27 pages for each student, having the Kindles means that you’ve effectively broken that prohibitive cost barrier. (Sort of. I realise the Kindles weren’t free of course.)

    I don”t suppose your maths department have shown an interest have they?

    Dave

    • sallythorne says:

      Hi Dave,

      If I’d printed it I would have done one booklet between two, but costed it as though they had a booklet each which is what I had with the Kindles. I think they would pay for themselves over time, especially since I lose a lot of worksheets to graffiti etc and have to reprint.

      Maths haven’t showed an interest but I hadn’t even considered how they could be used there, or I might have popped over there for a chat with them. Would be interested to hear if you’ve got any ideas.

  2. iseroma says:

    This is a wonderful idea for Kindles. I don’t see myself putting all my worksheets/handouts on the Kindle through PDF, but it would be a great idea for the most important handouts. After all, students tend to leave paper in the classroom or lose it quite easily! Thank you again.

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