Kindles seem to be the flavour of the month at the moment with projects growing daily. The latest schools to begin projects are Green Lane Primary and Miriam Lord primary.
Miriam Lord are looking to utilise 6 kindles with targeted groups of children to engage and raise attainment in reading and explore the potential impact on writers when children can share their own writing via the devices.
Green Lane are hoping to achieve the same outcomes as the Miriam Lord project but across a whole year group. They are looking to provide around 90 children in Year 6 with devices very shortly but are intending to use these as completely personal devices that the children can take home. As such they are looking to purchase Kindles with 3G connectivity so that children can download their own books at home.
Interestingly both schools are looking to use Kindles with keyboards which is interesting as many projects up and down the country have opted for the Kindle without a keyboard. The rationale behind this is to make use of the note taking abilities of the Kindle to annotate texts and share these notes with each other. In order to generate this text efficiently a physical keyboard is necessary as the virtual keyboard on the newer Kindles is would inhibit this process due to speed of access.
When setting up these projects managing the connectivity and Amazon accounts to buy books is crucial. If you attach a credit card to these accounts then theoretically anybody with the device can go to the online store and purchase a book and this could get very expensive. We recommend schools do not attach a credit card but have another Amazon account that they can use to buy gift tokens that can then be used to cash into an account. This method controls the amount of credit on the account and so limits the amount of money that could be spent accidently by staff or pupils. In America you can gift books and this would be an ideal way round this as you could buy the book a school admin account and then send to the Kindle you want to read it on.
If you are working with Kindle numbers greater than 6 then you will need several Amazon accounts as you can only share 1 account to 6 devices (these could be Kindles or a mixture of Kindle app supported devices including iPods, iPads, android smart phones and laptops).
Please note the 1 Amazon account to 6 Kindles is based on the default number of devices one book can be shared with, some authors limit this to less devices. We believe that you can in fact connect more devices but sharing a book across more than 6 is an issue we are looking to research further. We will post an update on this issue shortly. If you know the answer please comment – note this is an update from the original post.
In this scenario you would have to replicate whatever you do for one account across the other accounts. For example at Green Lane we are anticipating purchasing about 100 Kindles. This would equate to creating 17 Amazon accounts, 16 accounts of 6 Kindles each (this will cater for 96 devices) and 1 account for the remaining 4 devices. You would also need to set up an admin only Amazon account with a credit card attached (ideally) that you would use to send gift tokens to the other accounts in order that they can purchase books on the Kindles attached to the account. You only need to purchase the book once on each account and then that will become available on all 6 devices attached to that account.
Hope this isn’t too confusing, please add comments if you have are working on your own Kindle projects and have some good ideas or would like further advice.
Both schools will be contributing to this Blog over the coming months on their progress.