I learned today that the best gadget purchases are those that solve a problem. Whilst it’s wonderful to have the latest and greatest (I’ll be getting a free iPad via my attendance at the Handheld Learning Conference later this year) it’s very satisfying when something plugs a gap.
- I’ve got lots (probably hundreds) of journal articles to read for my Ed.D. thesis.
- I use a computer screen for my work much more than I used to, meaning on-screen PDFs is problematic.
- I get the train (c.30 minutes each way) and then walk to work. I don’t want to have to carry around anything heavy.
Today I bought (or should I say my parents, who are extremely supportive of my studies, bought me) a Sony Reader PRS-600. It’s the one with the touch screen for highlighting and annotation. It’s got an e-ink screen meaning it appears like a physical book instead of a flickering screen.
What I’ve tried previously:
- Printing out articles (cumbersome, expensive and not environmentally-friendly)
- Dropbox iPhone app (doesn’t ‘reflow’ PDFs meaning horizontal scrolling which isn’t very user-friendly)
- GoodReader iPhone app (iPhone screen too small for annotation)
I considered an Amazon Kindle, but after seeing and handling the Sony Reader at the JISC Conference earlier this week, I was sold on it. JISC had funded a project where the Sony Readers were used by previously technophobic academic staff to mark student essays. They loved them and if they’re good enough for that purpose, it’s good enough for me!
It’s still (very) early days. I’ll let you know how I get on!