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Camp Verde High School incorporates e-readers
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Friday, 27 May 2011 00:00

No more homework, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks. Well, one out of three isn’t bad.

Thanks to a grant from the state of Arizona, Camp Verde High School will be testing the use of e-readers in one classroom next year.

The grant paid for 40 of the devices, capable of downloading and storing thousands of books in a format around the size of a paperback novel, only thinner. Principal Bob Weir said he was excited about the experiment, and that some studies have shown other schools that have tried something similar have seen higher student performance.

Camp Verde High School Principal Bob Weir

It was the idea of English teacher Chris Fuller.

“I got a Kindle [e-reader] for myself at Christmas,” Fuller said. “I thought that I could teach with a set of Kindles for the kids.”

Fuller took his idea to the school district’s grant coordinator Steve Hicks, who found that the money was available.

“He worked his magic,” Fuller said.

Fuller said he knows that not every teacher would agree with him on his plan to use e-readers in the classroom and that they will likely stick with paper.

“But I think that when students are engaged in their studies with some form of technology, they’re more apt to be engaged in learning,” Fuller said.

The e-readers have other benefits, as well, Fuller said.

“I have books that are literally falling apart,” Fuller said. “With these [e-readers], I can buy one and never have to buy it again.”

Of course, Fuller said he won’t be allowing the students to take the devices home unless he gives special permission. That means students will have to do a lot of their reading on the devices in class. While Fuller admits he wishes there were other ways to use class time, he said the truth is that there are students who won’t complete a take-home reading assignment regardless.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” Fuller said.

When the devices aren’t in use, they will be stored in a storage box specially created by a wood shop student.

Fuller said he expects to be teaching just freshmen next year, and they’ll be the first group to try out the devices to see how the program works.

While Fuller will be using the devices for novels, he said the potential for other applications in the classroom is out there.

“Some textbooks could be potentially available for download and use in other classes,” Fuller said. “Just like with the music industry went from records to cassettes to CDs, everything is digital now. It’s the way things are going.”

 

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