Princeton Releases Kindle Data

Kindle users printed fewer pages, but usability is still a problem.

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Technological change doesn't happen overnight. At least, at Princeton it doesn't.

The Ivy League school released its first set of survey data following the introduction of the Amazon Kindle on campus, the Daily Princetonian reports. Three courses experimented with the E-reader technology last semester. And while the number of papers printed by students declined, there remained questions and concerns about the Kindle's usability.

"I expected it to be a really useful tool that would enhance my experience, but it has hindered my studies in a lot of different ways," one student who used a Kindle for class tells the Daily Princetonian. "I wasn't able to absorb the material as well as if I had hard copies of the readings, and I had to deal with a lot of technical inconveniences just from the design of the Kindle."

Students given Kindles reported close to or more than 50 percent less printing than classmates who did not use the technology. Reduction of hard paper use was part of the goal for introducing Kindles; the other was finding out whether technology hindered students' ability to absorb information, the report says. Students had trouble citing PDFs and navigating through multiple documents, among other problems. Professors couldn't refer to readings easily in class because of the technology, the report says.

It's safe to say that one student captured the current mentality of the Princetonians who used the Kindles: "It was great to have the experience of using a Kindle, but I think I'll stick with books until they work out the kinks," the student tells the Daily Princetonian.

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