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New Kindle Textbook Pilot

Arizona State University, Princeton University, Case Western Reserve University, Reed College, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia are partnering with Amazon in a pilot program to give the new Kindle DX to selected classes of students instead of paper textbooks.

I’m not sure if the DX has improved note-taking and highlighting functions–that would seem to be a deal-breaker in terms of textbooks. Also, I still think a backlight would be nice!

You can see why textbook publishers would absolutely love this idea. The Kindle books might be a little less expensive to students than the paper books, but every semester, every new student in every class would have to buy a new copy. No more resales of textbooks at all.


  1. As another Reedie, I was a little surprised about that college’s involvement in the Kindle project, especially as I am aware that there is a tablet-like device in Apple’s future, and also because I have heard that the intellectual property agreement that Amazon has worked out with authors and publishers does not allow users (including blind users) to make full use of the Kindle’s technology for text-to-speech.

  2. Some forward thinking schools!

    ASU was one of the first big schools to participate in Google Apps, which despite all the reasons I hate G**gle, I think is a great way to provide email, calendar and file sharing services for students.

    As a Reedie, I can’t help but wonder if the Kindle will be able to withstand the coffee stains, cigarette burns and bong water spills it will undoubtedly be subjected to – not to mention the rain…

    And since Reed is an all Mac school, I wonder if an upcoming iPhone-like tablet might replace that function, and provide the backlight you’re requesting.

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