For practical reasons we started the pilot in Kenya with a mix of the Amazon Kindle devices. These reasons include:
- They can be used for long periods before they need to be recharged,
- They have global 3G connectivity bundled with the devices (provided one uses the 3G models, of course),
- The Amazon Kindle technology and infrastructure are reliable and mature,
- Vast amounts of material are easily available both online and other material can be added over USB,
- Accounts can be shared across several devices and can be topped up using gift vouchers,
- Wish-lists are available so teachers can request material where it can be paid for later on, even by other people abroad. We will cover the topic of wishlists and payments in more detail in another blog post.
We also wanted to start the pilot as soon as practical and to learn during the pilot. We needed to keep the number of variables relatively small, and we did not want to spend months evaluating a vast set of potentially competing technologies.