Amazon to sell cheaper Kindle with on-screen ads

Amazon.com Inc. is dropping the price on its Kindle e-reader, but the change comes with a trade-off: On-screen ads, reports the Associated Press. The online retailer was set to announce Tuesday that the new Kindle with Special Offers will cost $114–$25 less than the currently lowest-priced Kindle–and include advertisements on the bottom of the device’s home page and on its screen savers. Seattle-based Amazon will start shipping the newest Kindle on May 3, and it will also be sold in Target and Best Buy stores on that date…

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Feds: Make eReaders accessible to all students

Colleges have agreed to abandon Kindle pilot programs because of accessibility issues.
Some colleges have agreed to abandon Kindle pilot programs because of accessibility issues.

The federal government will help schools and colleges using eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle to comply with laws giving students with disabilities equal access to emerging education technologies, officials announced.

The Departments of Education and Justice stressed the responsibility of colleges and universities to use accessible eReaders in a letter published June 29, after more than a year of complaints from low-sighted and blind students attending colleges that have piloted eReader programs.

Many eReaders have a text-to-speech function that reads words aloud, but the devices lack menus that people who are blind or have low vision can navigate.…Read More

Class in 140 characters or less?

Only 14 percent of college faculty said they saw educational value in social media such as Twitter.
Only 14 percent of college faculty said they saw educational value in social media such as Twitter.

There are more than 20 million college students in America, and more than 50 percent will not graduate. The No. 1 reason contributing to student dropout rates is a lack of engagement. The billion-dollar question for our education system is: How do we motivate and stimulate students to take a more proactive role in their academic success?

An obvious starting point might be the environments in which we know today’s students are currently engaged, all day, every day—social networks. To date, a significant chasm has existed between students’ interactive, stimulating experiences with social media and the reality of their “low-tech” classrooms.

Of course, there are exceptions, but on the whole, the education system isn’t yet capitalizing on the social networking and Web 2.0 tools that keep today’s digital natives motivated. It’s time to unleash that potential.…Read More

Publishers win a bout in eBook Price Fight

With the impending arrival of digital books on the Apple iPad and feverish negotiations with Amazon.com over e-book prices, publishers have managed to take some control–at least temporarily–of how much consumers pay for their content, reports the New York Times. Now, as publishers enter discussions with the Web giant Google about its plan to sell digital versions of new books direct to consumers, they have a little more leverage than just a few weeks ago–at least when it comes to determining how Google will pay publishers for those e-books and how much consumers will pay for them.

Google has been talking about entering the direct eBook market, through a program it calls Google Editions, for nearly a year. But in early discussions with publishers, Google had proposed giving them a 63 percent cut of the suggested retail price, and allowing consumers to print copies of the digital books and cut and paste segments. After Apple unveiled the iPad last month, publishers indicated that Apple would give them 70 percent of the consumer price, which publishers would set.

According to several publishers who have been talking to Google, the book companies had balked at what they saw as Google’s less generous terms, and basically viewed printing and cut-and-paste as deal breakers……Read More

Nooks Will Be Available at Barnes & Noble Stores Beginning Wednesday

Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest book-selling chain, said that its Nook electronic reading device would be available for purchase in its stores starting Wednesday, reports The New York Times.

The Nook, which has been selling through Barnes & Noble’s Web site since late November, has only been seen in demonstration form in bookstores. Analysts had originally said that one of Barnes & Noble’s competitive advantages against Amazon.com’s Kindle device was that the bookstore had physical outlets through which it could sell the Nook.

Barnes & Noble sold out of its initial supply of Nooks before the holiday season, citing higher than expected demand.…Read More