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May 6, 2009

Who will get the first e-book into the law school classroom?

Thanks to this post by Jonathan Alder at Volokh, I see from this article that Case Western Reserve University will soon have students in certain classes getting their their textbooks via the Amazon Kindles.   This Wall Street Journal report explains that Amazon "on Wednesday plans to unveil a new version of its Kindle e-book reader with a larger screen and other features designed to appeal to periodical and academic textbook publishers."  Here's more:

Beginning this fall, some students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will be given large-screen Kindles with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed, said Lev Gonick, the school's chief information officer. The university plans to compare the experiences of students who get the Kindles and those who use traditional textbooks, he said.

The new device will also feature a more fully functional Web browser, he said.  The Kindle's current model, which debuted in February, includes a Web browser that is classified as "experimental."  Five other universities are involved in the Kindle project, according to people briefed on the matter. They are Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State.

Here at Law School Innovation, we have been talking about the Kindle and other e-readers in the law school classroom for nearly two years already (see 2007 posts here and here and here).  From the get-go, I have never doubt that e-books would eventually take over the law-school classroom.  Because of the extraordinary costs and inconveniences of traditional law school casebooks, the issue iin my view has always been, not whether e-books become common, but rather just when and exactly how they will enter the law school classroom.

Cross-posted at SL&P (by DAB)

May 6, 2009 in Technology -- in the classroom | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack