There has been a lot written about the Kindle vs. the iPad debate. My question is this, is either one useful for the wonderful world of Scouting? I do not own either one, but I do see possible uses for both gadgets.
Amazon’s Kindle, an e-book reader, would seem like a natural place for a Boy Scout leader to gather a lot of Scouting information in one place. Like a Boy Scout Handbook. Like a scoutmaster handbook. Like program helps and the Guide To Safe Scouting. I hear the Kindle is easy to read outdoors. Imagine having all this information on one devise at summer camp. And I could download novels to read while I relax in the campsite. No more paperback books to pack.
Unfortunately, the Kindle is a grayscale devise so there would not be any color photos. I have read that the Kindle is not very friendly with pdf files so that eliminates much of what is found on scouting.org. Worse of all though is that there is not much Scouting related material available on Amazon.com, other than the first Boy Scout handbook and a few books written by people about the program.
The iPad sounds more promising since it is closer to a netbook. There are already several Scouting themed programs available for the iPod Touch which I think would be easy to reformat to an iPad. The Boy Scout Handbook is available in the app store. I understand pdf files will work well on the iPad so the Guide To Safe Scouting and other files could be used on the gadget.
However, I am hearing about a few drawbacks. I could easily see myself using the device on camping trips, like summer camp, which means I would be using it outside. I have been reading that the iPad screen is hard to see in sunlight and reflections can be pretty bad. The ten hour battery life is not very long when you are away from a power source for three days or more. Game apps and movies could be very distracting, especially when the Scouts start wanting to play with it.
As it stand right now, I do not see a reason to get either device to assist me as a Boy Scout leader. I will admit the iPad has more potential than the Kindle, but there is not enough there yet to justify the purchase.
What you think about using either devise to help you with the Scouting program in mind? Leave your comment below.