Getting More from Your Kindle

We invited Gilbert Wu, Health Educator Supervisor at the Chinese-American Planning Council, to share his ideas on using Kindles creatively. Thank you, Gilbert! We’d love to hear your ideas, too–please share them in the comments.

Our PREP program requires that all entry and exit surveys be distributed to the participants during the start and finish of an EBP. The amazing thing is that the surveys can be answered through the use of Amazon Kindle Fires. However, when we were finished with using the Kindles we would just pack the Kindles away until the next use.

Kindles are Under-Utilized

We thought about how we have such a great resource but it is extremely underused. We can definitely make more use of the Kindles other than just data collection. Rather than having the Kindles stored away only for survey use, we can try to find ways to use them during our lessons. The participants can get to experience different kinds of learning styles with the Kindles; we just have to take advantage of the valuable technology we have right now. Therefore we decided to be resourceful by utilizing the Kindles in our lessons whenever we possibly can.

Getting Birth Control Information

One way we use the Kindles involves an adaptation to the birth control activity. In our adaptation, we have the participants research the information online instead of just listening to a lecture. When we unlock the Silk browser app, this lets the participants go online to look up the information about birth control. We have the participants read out to each other the answers that they have found, and the educators make sure the key information is shared. This helps create an environment where we can reassure that the information is correct and at the same time help the participants learn through their own gathering of information.

Adult Preparation Activities

We use the Kindles in our adulthood preparation workshops as well. In our financial literacy workshop “Budgeting to live on your own,” we utilize the Kindles by having the participants search for furnishing costs. The students are presented a scenario where there is a monthly income budget and need to pair up as roommates in order to live on their own. This group activity involves the participants keeping a budget while searching the cost of furnishing a room. They use the web browser to search for their preferred retailers, researching their best cost-effective methods for living realistically and comfortably. The possibilities of Kindle use can be endless, and it can go further as long as we are creative about the uses of Kindles.

Handle with Care!

Of course we have to take care of the Kindles as well. We have to ensure that they are all fully charged, functioning, and able to connect to a working internet connection, and we make sure that the parental controls are working. With the frequent use of the Kindles, we have to be handle them carefully to be sure that the precious equipment is working. We also have to take measures to ensure that they have covers for protection.

So I recommend to those who have the Kindles to take advantage of their versatility and to make full use when possible. We live in a modern age where our youth are constantly learning through the use of technology and this is a chance to provide that kind of experience. Best of luck to everyone!

  – Gilbert Wu

4 thoughts on “Getting More from Your Kindle”

  1. This is great!!! We chose not to purchase kindles but now I’m rethinking that choice. My only concern is access to wifi. Do schools have guest access? Do you use a hotspot?

  2. Hi Jessie,
    Unfortunately I am not able to answer the questions about school wifi because I work in a community based setting and we have internet in our location. Access to wifi can a challenge and is required for the kindles to be able to research information online. If there is a tech department, they may be able to assist with your needs. Our tech department consistently work with us in order to try to have working access to the internet.

  3. When we are in school, we use a Verizon Jetpack Wi-Fi Network. It’s very small. We can enter most of our data into the ORS using this wi-fi device.

    Regarding kindles–we can’t use kindles in the classroom. We would never be able to meet fidelity. I think the Birth Control lesson is 12 minutes. That’s how long it would take just to give them out to the entire class! We might be able to use kindles in community based venues, so thanks, Gilbert. Great ideas!

  4. Hi Maria,

    Yes it is vital to keep fidelity of the program. For our Evidence Based Program, the birth-control activity involves a 40 minute lecture. We requested an adaptation with our birth-control methods as it comes off as a heavy info-dump session. Our impression is that the participants can learn much better when actively finding information rather than listening. Our goal should always be to provide our curriculum with fidelity, including the request of adaptations with our technical assistance providers first and approval before program implementation.

    My recommendation is to explore versatility with our kindles when appropriate, depending on the kind of activity involved and so we can provide creative and kinesthetic ways for our participants to engage fun learning habits. Thanks for recommending a good wifi hotspot for us! Hopefully the kindles can be more useful in other areas for you.

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