Managing A Kindle 1 to 1  Program:

($89 Kindle edition)  --- updated  9/29/11

( Why do I call it the $89 kindle edition. Because the $79 kindle doesn’t come with a power cord which is $10. It has a usb cable that you can attach to computer but its nice charger is $10 extra )    

Hardware Purchases Issues:

In order for a student to get the most out of a 1 to 1 program they should own their hardware. Since Kindles are so inexpensive now “$79 and dropping”  each school can decide whether the school purchases them and gives one to each student for their school career or the student’s family purchases them.  Since their price point is 43% less than a TI-84 (list price $139) I would recommend that each student’s family purchase them unless Amazon starts giving substantial education discounts to schools. Since each student owns their own machine the school is not in any way responsible for physically managing the devices.

Once each family purchases the physical Kindle they will then send the device’s 16-digit serial number  to the school so the school will be able to associate the students hardware with the school’s software/content.

Commercial Software/Content Issues:

In a traditional 1 to 1 laptop program all of the students have all the same (or similar) piece of hardware and they all have the same software or “build”.  In a Kindle (or Ipad)  1 to 1 program the goal is for everyone to have the same hardware but... since they are content devices the different users will have different content.  This content is not currently treated like software where you can purchase a site licence where you can install it on every machine.

 

Currently  91 of the 101 Great Books - recommended for college-bound readers by the College-Board are available for the Kindle. Lets say for example one of your classes reads  Virginia Woolf’s  To the Lighthouse*   The paperback is $4.99 and the Kindle edition is $4.74 so their price is about the same so this book would be a good choice to purchase on the Kindle.  If your high school had  300 students and you used a “build  system” to manage the content you could be required to spend up to $1500 to  get this book on the the “build”. If only 30 students per year use the book and you had a build system you would obviously spend the $150 required to get the students paperback saving $1350 this year so this book wouldn’t be on your kindle.  

Fortunately there is a way around the problem that doesn’t require you to pirate content or abuse the fact that Amazon has negotiated so people can put their books on 6 different  kindle devices.

The solution to this problem is a combination of the fact that in students in schools use different textbooks each year and that each physical Kindle can be reassigned to another Kindle account remotely.  

From this point on I will assume everyone has read   Amazons Official Educations Setup Guide  so this guide would be a superset of their guide. When you are creating the email accounts to attach to each Kindle Account the should be named in a grade specific manner.

for example  “9thgradek001@yourschool.org”.   Each “9thgrade*.*” account will have only the 9th grade content attached to that account.  Once the account is created you can use any of the multiple methods in the Amazon Setup Guide to pay for the content.

Please note: managing each of the Amazon accounts is purely an administrative issue which can be handled by non technical staff if required once they are given clear instructions.

At this point I think its easiest to describe the process by describing the database that would underline the process to manage the account.

Table 1: (Hardware Ownership)

Student Name (or Id):  

Kindle 16-digit serial number :

Kindle Account E-mail

Table 2: (Amazon Account)

Kindle Account E-mail

Kindle Account Password

Kindle Free Doc Delivery E-mail

Table 3: (Commercial Content)

Kindle Account E-mail

Purchased Book

 

As you can see the Kindle Account E-mail  is the key to the whole system.  

Since each Kindle Account E-mail is grade specific once you get the proper grade level commercial content associated with each account  you start each year by deregistering  

each student’s Kindle Hardware from their previous years account and then registering  

to their next years account. ( i.e.from 9thgradek001@yourschool.org  to 10thgradek001@yourschool.org ).  

Note: the process of deregistering  and registering  is done through a web browser at Amazon.com and never requires the school to touch the student Kindle Hardware. After the process is completed Amazon will wirelessly update the content on each Kindle to match its new accounts content.

Note: The information in the database described above obviously needs to work with other data already in the school for example school registration will allow you to know what students are in which grades and thus know what textbooks they need. Class list will allow you to create a list of Kindle Free Doc Delivery E-mail for the teacher of each class.

Free Content Issues:

The 3rd Generation Kindle Changed everything about loading free content to the Kindle wirelessly.  With the 2nd generation you had to use the “experimental web browser” to find a web page where you can click on a link to download your books over your slow 3G connection. You can still do that, but there is simpler and easier way. You can just e-mail the content directly to your students Kindle Free Doc Delivery E-mail which will download books and documents sent from any approved e-mail address when the Kindle connects to a wi-fi network.

This feature can be used to directly send out of copyright books to your students Kindles. A Tale of Two Cities,  The Red Badge of Courage, The Scarlet Letter   are just a few of the many free books you can directly e-mail to your student’s Kindle.  Loading textbooks is just the beginning of what you can do with with this feature.

Any teacher can take any document that they create in a word processor and send it to 1 student or to the whole class. A teacher can take selected Shakespeare Sonnets  from Project Gutenberg, put it into a word document, add commentary and questions for the students to answer and then e-mail it directly to the students Kindles. Not only will the absent students get a copy the teacher no longer has to waste prep time and paper photocopying the assignment nor waste class time handing out the assignment.  The possibilities are truly

endless.

This does require one thing from the schools database admin which is making a list of Kindle Free Doc Delivery E-mail  for each class section each teacher has. Once again a simple sql join of the Kindle database base tables above with your registration database.

Note: Making a google group for each class’ Kindle Free Doc Delivery E-mail  works well for delivering documents easily to the whole class.

Note: As of  October  2011 Amazon and made a small change to its personal document delivery system. In the past documents were directly sent to each kindle and not stored at amazon. Now the documents can be backed up at amazon so they can be redelivered if they are deleted from the local device.  The personal documents become part of the accounts  archived Kindle Library.  

 

Links:

Kindle: Business and Education Sales

Kindle Education: School FAQ