Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kindles in the classroom...

Teleread featured an an interesting post this week. They interviewed a high school teacher using the Kindle device to teach world history. I really liked how the teacher was integrating the technology, not just as a gadget, but within a larger historical context. He comments:

The reason I like to use the Kindles is because it is a constant reminder of one of the main themes of the class and that is that the compilation of human knowledge has been a key feature in world history. Every time knowledge was translated into a single language and stored in one space the culture that had access to it took a great leap forward. This occurred at the library at Alexandria for the Hellenes, at the House of Wisdom in Iraq for the Arabs, and in Latin speaking Western Europe for the Christian monks.

The language that the world’s information was translated into then was Greek, Arabic, and Latin. Now, remarkably, through Amazon and Google, the world’s knowledge is being translated into binary code (1, by the way was invented by the Sumerians, and 0 by the Indians in Gupta dynasty, so that’s historically related) and is cheap and accessible. I believe that by using the Kindle we’re not just playing with a toy but are reinforcing the idea that we are a part of an historical story that is still unfolding.

The full interview makes for a good read, with several other interesting quotes. I did note that they are not really reading textbooks on the Kindle devices, but using its web search feature instead. Still, it is an interesting use of a technology and another sign that such devices are moving toward a maturity level that will make them useful tools in the educational environment.

1 comment:

Jeff S said...

The classroom model the teacher has created here should be expanded and studied more in-depth. Thesis, anyone?