kitchen table math, the sequel: refurbished Kindles - $219

Saturday, September 19, 2009

refurbished Kindles - $219

I've escaped the black hole of hospital-land (my mom's been in and out of the hospital since August 12) just long enough to:

a) discover that Amazon is selling refurbished Kindles for $219

b) put up a post telling you so

The Agitator loves his Kindle.....

I ordered a refurbished Kindle yesterday, apparently because $219 is my 'price point' for a reading toy. I'd been wanting a Kindle since they first came out, but since Kindles don't have things I need (folders to sort pdf files into) and do have things I don't want (can't transfer Kindle books to your computer), and since they cost $359, I'd been waiting for something better to come along. At $219, Kindle is something better.

Of course, maybe that's because I read somebody somewhere saying $200 is the price point that turns a Kindle into an iPhone.

I don't have an iPhone, but come Monday I will have a Kindle.

I suppose this was inevitable

A proposal to put a Kindle into the hands of every K-12 student in the country, which will cost $9 billion more than the country currently spends putting textbooks in the hands of every student in the country:

Of course, such an upfront government outlay in these economic times seems unlikely. Mr. Freedman acknowledges that, but believes the federal government should act, particularly since e-books will inevitably migrate into students’ hands anyway.

“There are two crucial questions. Will this improve the educational experience for children, and is this budget neutral, does it cost money or save money?” he said.

answers: no and no.

e.g., see: The Computer Delusion by Todd Oppenheimer

If I were going to launch a program to put Kindles in the hands of every member of a dependent group, I'd put them in hospitals and nursing homes. Assuming they're as easy to use as I hope, that is.

Speaking of user-friendly, the flat-screen TVs in Evanston Hospital aren't getting much use in the CCC unit, I fear. Any TV that requires a person hospitalized with advanced heart failure to navigate a menu needs to be rethought.

Same deal with whole classrooms of high school kids negotiating portals.

we are doomed, part 2

Here we go: a 175-page report on "Technology in Schools" from the National Center for Education Statistics (pdf file) that has nothing whatsoever to say on the subject of student achievement:
The guide’s indicators of technology availability and use can be paired with locally determined measures of student achievement, operational efficiency, or other outcomes, so as to assess the relation between technology inputs and desired results.* This handbook does not directly address student or management outcomes, beyond evidence of deployment and utilization of technology in the K–12 setting. Outcome measurements (not themselves technology indicators) are beyond the scope of this document.

This handbook also does not directly address measurement issues, such as the reliability and validity of the data elements listed. Measurements are, to varying degrees, reproducible over time and across inquirers and forms of inquiry; and they are, to varying degrees, also accurate reflections of the concepts they purport to measure (as determined by a consensus of stakeholders, or other means). These issues matter, and much is written about them, but their proper consideration exceeds both the space available and the competence of our panel. The purpose of this document is to allow decision makers to make choices about the various kinds of information they need, to select some questions that are truly “key,” and to focus and organize data collection and information management to produce useful information, so as to make better decisions.
"Better decisions" begin and end with the student.


Teach Them All to Read by Elaine McEwan
High Tech Heretic by Clifford Stoll

1 comment:

Doug Sundseth said...

As a piece of geek-chic, I want one. But I'll never give over ownership of my books to a company that can (and has) take books away without even mentioning it to me. Under no circumstance will I buy a Kindle until Amazon changes both their policies and their software. Even postulating that, I will find it difficult to trust them.