A new electronic reader can be a key to "Electronic Enlightenment."
Steven Levy's article in Newsweek on "The Future of Reading" explores the benefits, impacts and benefits of Amazon's new "Kindle."
The Kindle is a reading device, 10.3 ounces, paper back size, with 30 hours of reading time.
Levy highlights some of the impacts:
- Kindle allows you to change its font size.
- The handheld device can also hold several shelves' worth of books: 200 of them onboard, hundreds more on a memory card and a limitless amount in virtual library stacks as well as wireless connectivity, via a system called Whisper.
- Buying a book with a Kindle is a one-touch process. Once you buy, the Kindle does its neatest trick: it downloads the book and installs it in your library.
- Via the Amazon store, you can subscribe to newspapers (the Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Le Monde) and magazines (The Atlantic).
- In addition, the Kindle can venture out on the Web itself—to look up things in Wikipedia, search via Google or follow links from blogs and other Web pages.
- But what makes the Kindle different? Why will it likely succeed?
Levy further suggests that there is more to the Kindle than reading. It has a strong appeal because it makes the following happen:
- It could transform the discovery process for readers.
- The connectivity also affects the publishing business model. "It could shorten publishing cycles."
- The book becomes an open document, shared bookmark, shared authorships between readers and authors; continuous conversations, exchange of ideas; you can browse, and search.
As trainer and student of e-learning and learning technologies, to me the Kindle is a powerful tool that changes how people learn. No longer will readers be bounded by the confines of a book, it will allow them to explore, discover, and extend learning at an instant to other areas of interest.
I begin to ask myself, "what is my reading style?" I read a few pages and stop in areas where I ponder on the ideas. At that instant, my mind asks questions, searches for more meaningful context, and I highlight or bookmark for further reminder. At that instant there is an "Electronic Enlightenment (a term I copied from Paul LeClerc, CEO of the New York Public Library)." Might this be the moment, possible and fast allowing me to pursue a link or other sources to continue my search?
Ray Jimenez, PhD www.vignettestraining.com
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"