Kathy Schrock has a great solution for the “credit card enabled” aspect of the Kindle:
…since any user of the Kindle can purchase a new title from the Kindle store from the Kindle itself, we did not know how we were going to control students from purchasing books on a whim. We are solving the problem by putting a gift certificate on the Amazon account with no other method of payment on the account. The teachers will spend the gift certificate funds to purchase a bunch of titles, so there will be no payment method available to purchase new titles by the users. We will just load the books up with the purchased titles.
This raises so many interesting questions. One, kind of interesting to be thinking of ways to keep kids from obtaining more reading material. As i have thought about all of this additional functionality that the Kindle brings, the mind of this former principal slips easily into thinking about how to “defuse” the device into something that I could give to kids. Then I think, No! Why try to reduce this deviced to something that can only be used the way I say? If there is anything true about life in the world of new media, it is that all of these potentialities can never be completely stifled, no matter how hard we try.
Why not set up one Kindle and let the kids load it up with books?
(Ed. note: Further thoughts from from Kathy Schrock: “As we do in the real library, suggestions for purchases submitted by students will be considered for the Kindle as they are for print titles in the library. I was not suggesting that the educators would control the content purchased for the Kindle. I was suggesting that, for a district that does not have a credit card and needs to carefully control spending due to limited resources, the gift certificate option would allow a designated amount of money to be spent on titles suggested by staff or students at the school.”)