Could the Next Textbook Upgrade be a Kindle?
George Papandreou, the opposition leader in Greece, addresses the Greek parliament and brings up the possibility of giving every student an e-reader to house all of their text books. It could be a very smart investment considering the Greek government pays for most of students' books. Instead of buying new, expensive (and tree-hungry) books every year, Papandreou notes that a child could have thousands of books at their fingertips if they have just one e-reader like a Kindle. Of course we have to factor in how responsibly the students treat the e-readers. Kids aren't exactly the most careful of people - as evidenced by how battered paper text books become in just a few semesters. Though, as kids are more and more used to caring for gadgets like their cell phones and game players, perhaps they'll know exactly how to care for a Kindle.
It just might be that in the near future, ultra-heavy backpacks will lighten and paper books will be fewer and farther between. It may not be a greener option, though, considering how many hours students will have to have an e-reader turned on. e-Ink technology helps to conserve power, but still, that's a lot of e-readers being plugged into the grid, and a lot of e-waste generated as they break.
The excuse for not doing one's homework may shift from blaming the dog to, "But my battery ran out!" We'll have to wait and see.
More on e-Readers:
Kindle 2 Coming February 9th
CES 2009: The ASTAK EZ Reader
TreeHugger Picks: Electronic Reading with E-Books and Readers
iRex Introducing Improved iLiad E-Reader on Monday
Plastic Logic Previews New e-Reader, But Is It Better Than Paper?