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Using the Kindle Fire in Education – an Affordable iPad Alternative

by Kelly Walsh on July 18, 2012

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The Kindle Fire offers functionality that can compete with the iPad at a fraction of the cost. Educational institutions should consider it a viable alternative.

Guest Post from Sapna Rawat.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire took off like a rocket when it was introduced, and it is the first tablet that has offered significant competition to the iPad. Kindle Fire is a mini tablet computer and was released late last year with full support from the extensive library that Amazon possesses. With an extensive collection of books, movies, photos, games and apps in their own library, Amazon seems to have found just the right answer for the iPad, given the fact that Kindle Fire costs roughly half of what the iPad costs (depending on configuration).

Some experts have called it a virtual answer to public libraries, but can Kindle Fire be used to enhance levels of 1-to-1 interactions and other capabilities for students in schools? Amazon boasts a collection of almost ten thousand movies and a hundred thousand books. Other features include a Wi-Fi connection, the ability to check emails and social media networks, and thousands of Android apps. There are a lot of possibilities here, not radically different from those offered by the iPad.

Following are a handful of educational applications and resources available on the Kindle Fire, to give a sense of those possibilities:

“101 Best Android Apps in Education” (http://101bestandroidapps.com/category/education/) –
While this extensive listing of Android apps for education includes some that probably questionable for instructional use, there are plenty of good candidates here to consider.

Evernote – This is one of the most preferred note-taking apps, and Evernote notes can be accessed from myriad devices.

Vocopedia – A a flashcard-based vocabulary builder app containing almost 4000 English words and their synonyms. Vocopedia is suitable for preparation for competitive exams like the GRE, SAT, TOEFL, and CAT and other exams that includes a verbal section.

Multiplication Genius“Help your kids to master 12 Times Table! Practice mode help your kids practice multiplication step by step, they can choose which Time Tables they want to practice.”

All the educational video content on the Internet – With no Flash video limitations (a shortcoming of the iPad that requires special applications to overcome), the Kindle can play them all!

The Kindle is an exciting tablet alternative. It’s going to be interesting to see where and how it fits in the realm of viable tablet offerings for educational use!

Author Biography: This is a guest article written by Sapna, Manager at Taaza.com, an Indian horizontal site. Significant verticals include Jobs, Classifieds, News, Education, Photos, Movies, Shopping and Finance.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Study Finds Benefits In Use of iPad As Educational Tool
Pros and cons of digital devices in the hands of young students
Discussing The Future of Electronic Textbooks And Digital Course Materials With Jill Ambrose

About 

Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of EmergingEdTech.com. As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. Walsh is also an author, and online educator, periodically running Flipped Class Workshops online. His latest eBook, the Flipped Class Workshop in a Book was published in September, 2013 and is available here. In his spare time Walsh also writes, records, and performs original (and cover) songs (look for "K. Walsh" on iTunes or Amazon.com or check out his original song videos on here on YouTube ).

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

devantetab October 16, 2012 at 7:21 am

Guest post for tablet pc

Paul July 18, 2012 at 7:41 am

Potential purchasers should be aware that Amazon made so many changes to the base Android OS that a number of Apps do not work. For example, we were very frustrated to find that Dropbox was not compatible and would not install. I do not know if it has been fixed because this was a deal breaker and we sent the Kindle back. I’d strongly suggest people do not even waste their time with the Kindle and purchase the Nexus 7 instead. It is far more powerful, roughly in the same price range, has a camera, and supports the latest Android OS. I bought my sister the British equivalent of this system (different brand but same specs and running Ice Cream Sandwich), and it is a pretty amazing machine for what I paid.

It is still not an iPad, and despite what people say, is not even close to an iPad. However, for the price of $250 (do not waste your time with the 8GB model) it is hard to beat.

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