Cracking open the books is passé – at least at Jolie O’Brien’s English class at the Myers Center. There, students press a button on a device and watch a screen glow with Sue Monk Kidd’s prose in “The Secret Life of Bees.”
Mrs. O’Brien students are reading the best-selling novel with the help of Kindles and iPads borrowed from the WSWHE BOCES Multimedia Services.
“Reading is more fun with the Kindle,” said Crystal Briere, a Schuylerville student, who just finished reading a portion of the book aloud to her classmates. “It keeps your attention on the story.”
Crystal, like other fellow juniors, enjoys toying with the new technology. Using an electronic reader, said Ethan Frawley from Schuylerville, is also environmentally friendly.
“It cuts down on paper usage,” said Ethan. “It takes a while to get used to the iPad. It’s like riding a bike. Once you figure it out, it’s easy.”
Besides, he added, “Books are old-fashioned.”
Mrs. O’Brien agrees that the Kindles and iPads are wonderful tools for her students. In addition to motivating the students to read, she said that they are more focused. The readers also highlight vocabulary words, which can be looked up on the readers too.
The only drawback with readers is the pages aren’t numbered and students often lose their place. Regardless, said Charles Hayes from Saratoga Springs, “It’s a lot better than a book. It’s easier.”