Guest post by Andrew from Match Next
Amazon released new Kindles last October. They updated their basic model and released a few new versions. Here’s the blog I wrote last year on the older models we bought back when our students were 3rd graders.
We got a few of the new basic devices to test out, and now a bunch of our students are using them full time. Here’s what they look like:
They’ve been great so far. They’re sturdier, faster, and have a touchscreen. They cost a little more than the older models, though. $79 each vs $69, but less if you bulk order.
The touchscreen is the best part. It feels a lot like using an iPhone, so doing things like connecting to WiFi or digging through our library is just a lot easier and more efficient on the touchscreen device. We still love the old ones because they’re simple and reliable, but navigating through the pages could get a little annoying because the buttons made it a bit cumbersome. Here’s what the 2 models look like side by side:
The new touchscreen models do all the same things that we cared about with our old, button-based Kindles. Students can:
1. highlight text
2. look up words using the built-in dictionary, and
3. search for books directly in our library.
They could do these things on the old devices, but it was just a little harder because it takes a little more time to use the buttons.
One Annoying Problem
Sometimes when we charge them using a cord and plug, this screen will pop up and stay there:
The fix is simple. You just need to hold the power button on the bottom of the device for ~20 seconds, which’ll force the device to restart. Not terrible, just annoying.
The Bottom Line
I’d give this newer model a 9 out of 10. I gave the old ones an 8.
The touchscreen Kindles have all the features we care about that the older, button-based Kindles have. Although they’re a little more expensive, there’s one extra feature (not including the touchscreen) that makes them better, and completely worth the added cost: Kindle FreeTime. I’ll describe what this is in my next post.
Next time: Kindle FreeTime - a Kindle-based tool that gives administrators the ability to more closely monitor a student's reading activity.
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