Next Steps in the eReader Journey: The Nook Simple Touch

In 2010-11, we used our Kindle eReaders for recreational reading; for the 2011-12, the library is looking to support classroom novel studies by purchasing sets of Nook Simple Touches to support literature circle studies in content area courses as well as whole class readings of specific texts.  Students will have a choice as to whether they prefer to read a print copy of a text or if they would prefer to read on the Nook Simple Touch.  As of this morning, we have submitted an order for 50 Nook Simple Touches, 50 covers, and 50 two-year warranties.

Why are we going with the Nook Simple Touch?  Here are some of the features we like about the Nook Simple Touch:

  • a battery life of up to two months
  • touchscreen technology
  • lightweight and ultra portable
  • no web browser, which means fewer distractions for students
  • students cannot purchase or download content

While the device has tremendous appeal, the new tools for content and device management is the real selling point for us as a K12 school.  Here is a summary of the new program Barnes and Noble Managed Program and that I’m posting here with permission from my local sales representative.

The program is called B&N Managed Program (featuring digital lockers) and it provides easy, turn-key solutions to address concerns and needs of a K12 environment.   The program offers everything from greater bulk discounts/pricing on some NOOK units and ease of account management. The Barnes and Noble Managed program offers these solutions:

  • No credit card will be required to purchase e-content
  • Schools can purchase eBooks using a P.O. after an account has been set-up.
  • When placing new orders for devices and content, schools will receive bundled packaging. B&N will register the device, install any accessories you as a school or library would like, download the product (e.g. list of eBooks), and ship them to the customer ready to use.
  • Schools with existing devices can place an eBook order through the store. They just need to send a list of titles to B&N and B&N will download the product to their digital locker. The customer will receive an email confirmation and then sync their device to view their new titles.
  • B&N does all of the work for the school! We will register the devices, set-up their accounts and download their specified content to their digital lockers. These downloads will be customized to the customer’s specifications – by classroom, grade level, etc. In short, however you need the content, we will deliver!

While this is not a perfect solution nor one that allows schools to deliver ebook content to student owned devices or across multiple platforms, this is a more viable solution for the needs of the K12 environment in terms of options that meet our purchasing needs and ability to manage the content effectively and efficiently while giving us a means to offer students a digital reading experience that we hope will engage readers of all ages and prior reading experiences. I’m excited that B&N will help me create collections of my devices and facilitate the delivery of our ebook content to the appropriate devices as needed to support student learning in content area study/reading as well as recreational/leisure reading.  In addition, devices are password protected so that students cannot make unauthorized purchases or downloads.

I will be documenting our journey of learning with the Nooks through the new Nooks at the Unquiet Library LibGuide page I’ve created, so please bookmark this new site or subscribe to the RSS feed for the guide as I populate data and materials to share with everyone.

18 comments

    1. Hi Miriam!

      Yes, the Nook Simple Touch does have limitations, but we are primarily buying these for fiction and nonfiction that isn’t graphic driven since that makes up a good bit of either the required reading or the most popular authors/selections our teens are requesting at this time; consequently, this device meets the needs we’re trying to address, plus the purchasing model for ebooks works within the limitations I have of using purchase orders for orders. We’re looking at color Nooks down the road, which I think will address more graphic driven titles, but like anything else, implementing the devices and ebooks are a process. Since there isn’t one device right now that is a one size fits all solution, I expect we’ll look at all options to meet needs as our budget and demand allows.

      Best,
      Buffy

    2. I should also add the fact there is no web browser is an actual bonus since for now, we’re looking specifically for a dedicated ereader, not a device that will multitask—many of our students need (and have actually asked for) a device that will not go to the web.

  1. Buffy,

    I contacted my BN representative about Managed Programs and this is what she told me:

    “Yes, I know about the B&N managed devices. Basically, B&N takes control of your devices. That means when you are wanting titles downloaded on the NOOk, you can get a PO for the titles, I take care of it and we do the download for you. So for instance, you want to download Of Mice and Men on 35 NOOKs by September 10th, I can give you a quote for the 35 e copies, get a PO from you, send it in and within 48 hours it’s done for you. We can also set up groups, ie, you have 5 groups of 7 and you want separate titles on each group, that can be done also. The one difference is when we manage it, it is one title per device, not one title for 6 devices. The store in El Paso sold 400 NOOKs to one of the school districts and they elected to have them B&N managed with eases up time for the teacher. It’s already done for them. . One advantage I see is you don’t have to worry about any student trying to download anything as we have taken that worry out of it. There is no charge for this service either .”

    So it seems if you go managed you can only load a book on a single device not 6.

    Totally Techno Tina

    1. Hi!

      Yes, I am aware this is now a 1:1 purchase—I am fine with this policy since they provide means to manage the content (as outlined in the blog post). To me, the ease of managing content is far more valuable than being able to place one book on six devices. The program details that I outlined in the post and that you’ve shared here are exactly why we’re going with Nooks.

      Best,
      Buffy

    1. Yes, we treat it like a normal fine. We have really only had a problem with two students not returning things in a timely manner this last year, and it was resolved with a word with the student and/or parent phone call.

      1. Hi Buffy,

        Did you create a special permission slip or note that parents had to sign in order to check out the device? I’m interested in knowing what your plan is if a student breaks or looses a Nook? Are they charged to replace it?

        Elizabeth

  2. I would be interested to learn how your acceptable use policy addresses the Nooks. I also want to know if you plan to charge students who lose or break a Nook or those who have the Nook stolen from them by someone else.

    Thanks for the thorough guide to your thoughts, research, and implementation!
    ~ Jessica

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