It’s your friendly KF on KND Editor in Chief April Hamilton, here to explain why one of those nifty, affordable new monochrome Kindles ($79: such a deal!) is a great buy for your tween or high schooler, even if they already own a tablet.
1. Schools are starting to allow dedicated e-readers on campus, even when they’ve banned tablets and cell phones.
A dedicated e-reader is nothing more nor less than a book delivery device, and schools are coming around. It helps that the new Kindle is now the official e-reader of the National PTA here in the United States.
Last year my daughter’s middle school didn’t have an official policy about tablets and e-readers, but when I asked her English teacher if she could do her required ‘free reading’ from ebooks, he enthusiastically agreed.
This year, the school has officially sanctioned the use of dedicated e-readers. If your child’s school doesn’t yet have a policy in place, ask about it. School administrators may be more receptive than you realize; they seem to understand that ebooks are the wave of the future, and know that when kids are holding a dedicated e-reader they’re reading, not playing games or surfing the net—and YOU will know it, too.
2. The built-in dictionary, highlighter and note-taking features are ideal for students.
No hard-copy book can compete in these two areas. When your child comes to a word she doesn’t know, she can look it up instantly, without having to leave her book to find a dictionary or website.
And of course, children are never allowed to write in their schoolbooks. Even if you’ve purchased a given ‘free reading’ book yourself in hard copy, those narrow margins can’t hold anywhere near as much text as the pop-up balloons that are used to add notes in a Kindle book. Kindle book notes are also shareable, so kids can enrich their reading experience by reading others’ notes on the same book.
3. The new Kindle comes with Vocabulary Builder
From Amazon: Kindle makes it easy for young readers to add new words to their vocabulary. Words looked up on Kindle are automatically added to Vocabulary Builder, where kids can quiz themselves with flashcards to reinforce new word retention.
4. The display is optimized for text clarity and the touchscreen is glare-free, making it easy for kids to read even in bright sunlight.
True, the entry-level new Kindle doesn’t have a front-lit display like its higher-end cousins, the Paperwhite and Voyage. But the display is every bit as crisp and bright as a printed book, and reading from the screen in low-light conditions is as simple as turning on a lamp: just like you’d do with a hard copy book.
5. It’s small and light enough to slip into a backpack or messenger bag without adding significant bulk or weight, yet has enough on-board memory to hold thousands of ebooks.
At .4 inches thick and weighing in at just 6.7 oz., this is one mobile library that won’t cause back strain or torn backpack straps.