Thursday, October 1, 2009

Princeton students and the Kindle

Princeton students have been trying Amazon’s Kindle:

“I hate to sound like a Luddite, but this technology is a poor excuse of an academic tool,” said Aaron Horvath ’10, a student in Civil Society and Public Policy. “It’s clunky, slow and a real pain to operate.”

Horvath said that using the Kindle has required completely changing the way he completes his coursework.

“Much of my learning comes from a physical interaction with the text: bookmarks, highlights, page-tearing, sticky notes and other marks representing the importance of certain passages — not to mention margin notes, where most of my paper ideas come from and interaction with the material occurs,” he explained. “All these things have been lost, and if not lost they’re too slow to keep up with my thinking, and the ‘features’ have been rendered useless.”
Another problem: no page numbers, which makes citations a challenge. Read more:

Kindles yet to woo University users (Daily Princetonian)

Related posts
From the Doyle edition
No Kindle for me

comments: 3

Slywy said...

I'm reading Caroline Alexander's awful, awful, wretched book on the "true" story of the Bounty (distorted through her Bligh-worshipping eyes), and I've got an index card book of quotations and my snarky comments going for my review. Do not presume to write history if you're going to tell us how each figure felt as he was writing, even though you don't actually know. Oh, anyway, yeah, no Kindle for me, either. I'm becoming a Luddite. Pass the highlighting pencils.

Michael Leddy said...

I see that Alexander has a book on the Iliad coming out soon, The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer’s Iliad and the Trojan War. That title alone is bad news.

Anonymous said...

At a government meeting many years ago in which basic research types met with Pentagon types, the question came up about a storage medium -- think hard drive, or lap top -- which could 1) be easily destroyed in event of capture, 2) difficult to damage in a hostile environment, and 3) relatively inexpensive to purchase.

After consultation, the finest electronic research folks answered, "a paperback book."

That is, the various military field manuals already filled the bill, but the seduction of technology is strong, like the call to utopian thinking or saving a soul -- or the world.

Sometimes the answers have been with us all the time. Looking for them while not seeing them in front of our very eyes is the problem of that kind of blindness which wastes time, energy and resources, while advancing the solutions to problems not one whit.

The more things change, indeed, the more they seem the same after all?

Which means? We may expect another Blob, no doubt.