Houston Community College has been running a pilot program using the Kindle instead of printed textbooks in some of their English and philosophy courses.
I learned about this from the Houston Chronicle, Fort Bend Edition. I was amused by the remarks attributed to professor Doug Rowlett, Ph.D., Instructional Design Coordinator/English professor. In the article, Rowlett described the Kindle this way: "The e-ink (electronic paper) technology works like an Etch-a-Sketch device."
Maybe the toy connection is why we writers like to embrace gadgets like the Kindle. I mean, I loved my Etch-a-Sketch. I even watched a program last week on toys that told how that cunning little device works.
The rest of the article gave the basics of how the Kindle works. All you Net denizens know this so I won't waste time on those specs.
At the end of the semester, the students involved and the teachers will render an analysis to see if the Kindle should be made available for other classes. Apparently, some conclusion has already been reached since they already plan to make Kindle available for science classes next semester.
I hear the death knell sounding for hard copy textbooks. The strained backs of students, past and present, will thank you.