Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Amazon Kindle as an Enterprise solution???

The recent release of the Amazon Kindle within the UK has prompted me to look into the feasibility of this resource within my organisations learning activities. The relatively cheap tool (in comparison to the iPad and other e-Readers), coupled with its portability and reported ease of book downloading might well be of benefit to members of my organisation who are undertaking an ILM accredited Leadership qualification towards the end of 2010/beginning of 2011.

Previous ILM Leadership programme delegates have had the opportunity to utilise a number of conventional books that were purchased from the ILM ‘suggested reading’ list. Owing to the cost of such books,  the challenges with storing them and the logistics of physically loaning the books to the delegates (not as easy as it sounds when you don’t have a dedicated library) led to some colleagues having to wait up to a month for their desired book to be returned; this problem was often exacerbated by late returns, L&D staff being unavailable to organise the loan and the usual challenges that go with working in a shift-orientated environment.

The Amazon Kindle may well be the solution to many of the above problems…….

The Kindle could be loaded with all or most of the books from the suggested reading list; alternatively it could be loaded with only those books that were required for the initial/next module, as a cost saving measure should anybody drop out.The Kindle would be offered as a loan item to all delegates at the commencement of the programme.Delegates would be able to access the suggested reading ‘any time’-'any where’ due to the freedom provided by the lightweight, portable device. This would also negate additional resources in terms of arranging loans and returns.As opposed to conventional books, delegates could annotate relevant text without worrying that they were tarnishing the books for future readers as the annotations could be wiped upon completion of the programme.The storage of these devices would be far less than the storage of an equivalent number of individual conventional books.

Whilst this potential solution may seem like a no-brainer, there are a couple of issues that I feel may be stumbling points, which to date I have been unable to confirm or solve via any research.

As any purchases of these devices will be sourced centrally from my Purchasing Department, how do I go about registering multiple devices against an Amazon account that DID NOT purchase them?Can a book be purchased in multiples and then downloaded onto multiple devices, or do I have to purchase and download the same item multiple times?

As it stands it seems like I will have quite a bit of time to research these questions as the massive demand for this e-Reader means that the single ‘test’ Kindle that we have ordered is not due for despatch until the middle of September 2010, so if you can shed any light on my questions above or know of any other advantages/disadvantages to using the Kindle as an Enterprise tool then please drop me a line.

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