That's no longer the case.
Two big developments have changed my opinion. The first was a late December update to the Kindle that allows the user (read "the teacher") to password protect and turn off the WiFi. This feature would allow the teacher to prevent students from downloading and purchasing Amazon content from the Amazon.com website, which was the biggest issue I had with the original setup of the Kindle Fire.
If that was the ONLY development, though, I still wouldn't recommend the Fire. After all, turning off the WiFi doesn't just prevent the Amazon store from working. It also prevents the web broswer from working, and I assume that most teachers would WANT students to utilize the web browser for research. So this Amazon update effectively cripples the machine in the process of fixing the problem of unintentional downloads.
|View of Filtering setup page|
Of course, it doesn't do much good to have an Internet filtered web browser if a student can just open the standard Kindle Fire browser and get around the filtering, so the app also includes the ability to block specific apps from opening, including the web browser. By opening the Mobicip program and going to "Appblocker" the teacher--after putting in a security password--will be presented with a list of all of the applications installed on the Kindle Fire. The teacher can click on specific apps and select to "block" them. In this way, the teacher can block the standard browser from opening and force students to use the Mobicip browser.
The teacher can type in the security password to give the student access to the program.
So these two developments (coupled with the rumor that the next major update to the Kindle Fire interface will allow teachers to turn off the One Click purchasing feature, which is the root of this problem anyway) allow me to now recommend the Kindle Fire for teachers who think this device is a good instructional fit.
Mobicip isn't an official Kindle Fire app. That is, you won't find it in the Amazon App store. And you can't download it at all until you go into your Kindle Fire's settings and check the box that allows installations from unknown sources. Once you've done that, though, you can install the program using the link below.
If you're interested in installing the app, you can get more information and even download the app here.