Kindle, iPad, and Scouting

on April 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

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.

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    7 Responses to “Kindle, iPad, and Scouting”

    1. Scouter Doug says:

      If either has practicality I’d say it would have to be the iPad. Other than reading during down time the Kindle doesn’t have much to offer here. From what I hear (don’t have either myself) the iPad does handle readability in daylight conditions… And as far as the 10hour battery life that’s 10 hours active use. I would expect in these circumstances you’d be using the device as a “reference” during or between activities but it wouldn’t be in constant use. I’d still be doubtful of it surviving a whole weekend under even limited use though. I’m sure soon enough there will be battery accessories to extend the battery life, similar to the JuicePak Air for the iphone. If you’re interested in other Scouting apps I did a post on just that subject: http://scoutersjourney.blogspot.com/2010/03/scoutmasters-iphone.html

    2. Bryan Spellman says:

      Neither! Go with the Barnes & Nobles NOOK!

      If you must get a device then go with one that is a) easy to read like the Kindle and b) has native support for pdf files like the Ipad but doesnt cost like one. Bonus is that there should be some Android Apps just around the corner for the Nook Reader…

      Check it out!

      YIS
      Bryan

    3. Scouter Garry says:

      For me it is how do you define Personal Entertainment Electronic Device. Both the knidle and the Ipad have useful functionality while in the woods. Both leaders and Scouts should live by the same rules in my opinion. Our troop policy is no personal electronic entertainment devices on a campout. So as a leader I have to leave the kindle and ipad at home. Although I may use them as ibook reader or other responsible device the boys can use them for entertainment such as movies or games. So I’ll leave the temptation not only at home, but in the store.

    4. amazon kindle says:

      I like the Amazon kindle, but I heard Sony has them, too. Could someone aid me find the greatest and inexpensive a single?

    5. Alex Long says:

      iPad is way too cool to own, i wanna buy one next month.’.~

    6. Nick Poulson says:

      I am a Camp Director, and I have an iPad, and it is useful in the camp setting for several reasons: one reason is that I can get to DoubleKnot anywhere in camp, as well as MyScouting. Also, I have an app that teaches scouts how to tie knots (I do knot know all of them by heart). Also, I can add pdf’s such as Guide to Safe Scouting, the Boy Scout Handbook, Schedules, Camp Map, etc. I also have an idea for an app that will track merit badge requirements on either the ipad or the ipod touch, which will cut back on mistakes, cut back paper usage, and allow for Scoutmasters to check, online, the progress of their boys.
      The Kindle is nice, but the iPad is everything the Kindle can do plus an unlimited amount of other tasks.

    7. Brooke Morris says:

      i gave my girlfriend an ipad and she was very very happy;-`

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