Kindles for students, 30K WSJ Kindle subscribers

Kindle in Education 

Electronic Readers in Education are back in fashion.

Penn-Trafford district of Pittsburgh will order nearly 100 Kindles. As opposed to college students, the high school kids love the Kindles -

“It has everything,” said junior Jake Hohn, 16. “You can look up different books. If you want to search for something on Google, you can do that, too.”

Kimberly Reevers, 15, a freshman, said she likes the convenience.

“It’s just one thing to hold, and you don’t have to keep flipping pages, and it keeps track of where you’ve left off,” she said.

The Kindles will be used in the school’s READ 180 classes – a course for readers who are struggling with reading.  The changeable fonts should really help students as should the Text to Speech -

Daniels said the Kindles will give her more teaching options.

“If we’re doing a novel that’s not at their reading level, they could plug-in and listen to it,” she said.

In North Branford, Connecticut, School Superintendent Scott Schoonmaker is trying to figure out if the school can work kindles into the school budget -

The devices are more cost-effective than buying and replacing textbooks every year. Schoonmaker said on average, it costs about $200 to $800 a year per student to buy, update and refurbish textbooks.

Schoonmaker said, “When you start doing the math — replacement costs, lost textbooks — it can grow exceptionally.”  

However, with tight school budgets, Schoonmaker said it’s a tough sell. To make it more cost-effective, he is trying to work a deal with Amazon.

Kudos for trying out the plan and even more for trying to get Amazon to help.

Wall Street Journal has 30,000 Subscribers of its Kindle Edition

Last year we found out that the New York Times had 10,000 Kindle subscribers.

Today we find out that the Wall Street Journal has roughly 30,000 Kindle subscribers -

Roughly 30,000 users subscribe the Wall Street Journal Kindle Edition, Dow Jones head Les Hinton told the Paley Center conference Rafat is attending this morning—great for a “primitive device.”

Paid Content has some speculation and broke the news.

$57 million investment in textbook start-up

The Kindle is not the only thing that’s hot in education - textbook rental companies are too – to the tune of $57 million. 

Textbook rental service Chegg raised $57 million in Venture Capital. Chegg are loading up for something big -

In addition to the $57 million in new venture funding, Chegg.com said it also secured a $25 million credit facility from its syndicate of venture partners, as well as recently securing a $30 million debt facility from venture debt providers Pinnacle Ventures and TriplePoint Capital.

That’s $112 million in all. $112 million for a company that rents textbooks – That just illustrates how inefficient the current model is.

On a related note, TeleRead point us to a trial of textbook business models in the UK -

Eight leading textbook publishers, three e-book aggregator and ten universities are working together to test a range of business models for e-textbooks.

The overall objective of the trials is to identify realistic and sustainable e-textbook business models

Perhaps they should ask Chegg to help them out.

eReader News

  1. Google Books Settlement hearing has been set for February 18th, 2010.
  2. Margie Boule has a beautiful article on handling the guilt of leaving books for the Kindle (which she does remarkably well – hardcover christmas gifts and non-Kindle book purchases).
  3. Ronald Burke wants to get his hands on Barnes & Noble’s nook and his rapid purchase of B&N stock has scared the Board into adopting a poison pill. WSJ has a good article. Mr. Burke’s firm has (after purchasing shares) expressed their concern over B&N’s purchase of B&N College BookStores and that definitely indicates hostile intentions.
  4. SlashGear says that the Qualcomm color eReader might have an add-on game controller. Basically Qualcomm want to stress that the screen technology is not just for eReaders.
  5. Someone at Sony (probably) ‘reviews’ the Daily Edition – the same one that can’t make the eReader Christmas Party.
  6. Sony launch their answer to iTunes - it includes music, movies, books and apps.
  7. Time and Conde Nast are already prepping their sites for the new Apple Tablet. Meanwhile rumors suggest that it’s been delayed from March 2010 to 2nd half of 2010.
  8. Network World has 8 reasons eReaders could fail. They’re not bad reasons.  
  9. DigiTimes reports that BenQ (yes, that BenQ) is launching its eReader, called the nReader, in 2010 along with an online ebook trading platform. It’ll be in Taiwan to begin with and then Japan and China.

    BenQ aims to sell 50,000 nReaders in Taiwan and 300,000 units globally in 2010, according to company vice chairman Jerry Wang

    The nReader features a 6-inch touchscreen EPD (electrophoretic display) panel from SiPix, and supports PDF and ePub. BenQ added that it plans to offer color e-book readers in the second half of 2010.

Rather interesting that BenQ expect to have color eReaders out by end 2010 – Has SiPix overtaken eInk?

News related News

  1. Both TechMeme and Google News released Mobile products. Google News for Mobile is available in 29 languages and 70 editions.
  2. Rupert Murdoch talks about how moving to electronic newspapers saves money while James Murdoch talks about how News Corp is looking more to TV.

4 Responses

  1. Skimmed the Network World piece. Have a comment on ‘e-reader price’ as a potential barrier.

    The problem with price-perception, is that most people still seem to construe the device as a book surrogate, when in fact it’s a book*case* surrogate. Go to the largest *full* bookcase in your house. Remember how much it cost, including shipping, moving it in, etc. Now count the books on it.

    My IKEA p.o.s. was over $200, and is maxed out at 275 titles. Add to that the piles of newspapers most people also have, and the articles some people keep in file drawers… and an e-reader with a decent amount of storage turns out to be pretty economical.

    Add to *that* the availability of titles that are free to own in electronic format, and it only gets better.

    • that’s a really, really interesting argument. You’re right – eReader companies should start pushing it as a bookcase surrogate that also does a lot of cool things.

  2. I know loads of students a bit annoyed that it’s still hard to find many sites or publishers that offer (proper) textbooks to use on an eReader…come on, its 2009, why are we still using those heavy things that go out of date by the time they go to and cost over a hundred bucks?

    While I was Googling for “download textbooks” the other week I found the site http://www.bookboon.com I went on the site and found that they publish a huge range of textbooks – and every single textbook is made available to download free of charge!

    I downloaded a few in the pdf e-book format that they come in and they work perfectly on my Kindle DX.

  3. [...] smart phones and ebook reading devices. Some schools are already handing out iPhones, iTouches, and Kindles to their students so they will have access not only to digital texts, but in the case of smart [...]

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