Monday, February 17, 2014

Don't Let Those Kindles Go to Waste

A few days ago I received this comment on an old post about using Kindles with my students. It was actually perfect timing because when we transition to 1:1 with iPads I will have to be creative in using the 12 Kindles that I have at my school.

I have 20 Kindles (old style, not Fire) in my library closet just sitting there :( They have only one or two books loaded onto them due to the high cost of loading ebooks to the entire set ($5.00 a book x 20 = way too much of my library budget). My principal wants me to use them somehow, but I am lost. She is on the fence about letting students check them out like regular books. I don't know any other way to use them. Can you please give me some ideas on how to use them affordably, or should I just try to get rid of them all together?

I love this question and it really got me thinking. Here are a few of my ideas. Please add your ideas and suggestions in comments.

1. If you're not comfortable checking out the Kindles you could encourage teachers to use them with students with reading accommodations, reading resource students or reluctant readers. Ereaders can entice those hard to motivate students sometimes.

2. Have the student and parent sign a form before checking out to put your principal at ease. Even if a device is damaged or lost it is better than letting it sit in a cabinet unused until it is completely out of date.

3. Search for free books to load onto the devices. Sometimes you can find older titles that are still used by teachers for class novels or literature circles.

4. Designate certain Kindles for different genres. If you don't have the funds to load every title on every device you could create a "Fantasy" Kindle, "Science Fiction" Kindle, and so on. 

5. Allow teachers to use them after setting up a Netgalley account. 

6. Create a student book review club and help them to create Netgalley accounts so that they can preview books, share book reviews on a school blog, and read Advanced Reader Copies from Netgalley.

7. If you have no use for them in school anymore you could use these for a raffle or prizes. Many students would be thrilled to have this device to use at home. 

What else can my readers think of to share? I'd love to hear your ideas.


  1. I still have an old style Kindle and won't be upgrading to the Fire anytime soon. I love that I can only do one thing on it- READ! I don't get distracted by anything else. I love the idea of letting teacher use them after setting up a NetGalley account or giving them away to students.

  2. There are a couple ways we use our Kindles. I loaded easy readers onto them and pushed a few of them out to a self contained special ed class. There are not enough for the entire class to have one, but the teacher has developed a system that makes using the Kindle a reward. They keep them in the classroom and use them every day until the books have been read by all the students. You may be able to get some funding from the Special Services folks to purchase more titles for the devices. We also allow our top "Super Reader" to keep one of the Kindles for the school year and turn it in at the end of the year.

  3. Perfect timing for me too! I have several in my filing cabinet, that have just been sitting there most of this year because we went 1:1. I did finally get brave and start letting a few select students check them out. Mostly because they wanted to read Divergent and my print copy was out! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Would this work?

  5. Create a library kindle account. Follow the free books and load free books on them. Keep them available in the library for the kids to look at during check out time.