The Amazon Kindle is device is creating quite a storm in educational circles in the US. The device has a 6â€³ screen and weighs a lttle over 10 ounces.
â€œUtilizing a new high-resolution display technology called electronic paper, Kindle provides a crisp black-and-white screen that resembles the appearance and readability of printed paper. The screen works using ink, just like books and newspapers, but displays the ink particles electronically. It reflects light like ordinary paper and uses no backlighting, eliminating the glare associated with other electronic displays. As a result, Kindle can be read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room.The screen never gets hot so you can comfortably read as long as you like.â€
So why the storm ? well its Digital Rights Management again . Amazon have invested heavily in this technology and consequently have built in a sphisticated DRM system which prevents users form â€œopenly sharing contentâ€. Educators are begining to use the technology in educational settings and emerging are two distinct viewpoints, use and support the technology issue and the DRM issue will be resolved by user presssure, or boycot the technology completely and Amazon will â€œcave in under consumer pressureâ€.
It is of course a small part of a much larger discussion relating to open access and digital rights management and content publishers attempts to forge new business models in the digital age. It will be interesting to see what evolvesâ€¦â€¦â€¦..