So I spent thirty-five minutes, times three, with groups of students today, discussing my book, the Kindle reader/ebook technology, and the publishing process. Not that I’m an expert or anything, but I did have some experience to offer.
I started out with the Kindle because this generation has such a strong affinity to technology. Instead of having blankies and soothers, they have cell phones and ipods. I know some of them suck on the antennae! So I asked how many of them had cell phones. Over half raised their hands – this was in a group of grade 5-8s, since the grade 5/6 teacher had a car accident and her classes were merged into the older ones for the day. Next I asked how many had iPods. Again, over half raised their hands. I asked if anyone had their iPod in the room…most hands went down, but the remaining hands elicited laughter from the teachers in the room, and then from the students as they realized I had made them rat themselves out…iPods etc are not allowed in the classroom. Anyway, I collected an iTouch, and held it up next to the Kindle to compare and contrast the two units. The majority of students had not seen a Kindle before. Students were especially interested in knowing how the iPad would fit in, basically as an overgrown iTouch, rather than a colour Kindle. The students easily noted the differences like backlighting, etc. We passed my Kindle around the room while I spoke a bit about the road to publication, some ideas about writing, and of course a bit about my book. With the group being younger than expected, and my book targeting a more mature audience, we didn’t really get into my story much.
It was a nice afternoon to spend, rather than marking exams, which I have to do tomorrow.