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Support Question of the Month: How Do You Renew Your Individual Membership?

2014 June 10
Bookshare Logo for Summer of Sleuths Reading Contest - Image of a magnifying glass over paw prints.

Logo for Summer of Sleuths Reading Contest

Renew Your Bookshare Membership Now!

Our June support blog on how to renew your Bookshare Individual Membership is just in time for our Summer of Sleuth’s Reading Contest.

Have you tried logging into your account, but were unable to download books? It’s possible that your Bookshare membership has expired. Make sure your membership is up-to-date by following the easy steps below and join us for a super fun summer reading event! The contest begins on June 16th.

Steps to Renew as a Student Member:

1. Log into Bookshare, select “My Account” in your Task Bar.

2. Choose the “Student Status” link, update your school information, then select Submit.

Steps to Renew as a Non-Student Member:

1. Log into Bookshare and select “My Account.”

2. Select the “Subscription” link, then complete the Renew Your Subscription section.

If you’re logged into your account on a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone, it may be necessary to first log out and then log back in to your Bookshare account for your membership renewal to take effect.

For more information or to get answers to commonly asked support questions, visit our Support Center. It’s chalked full of great information! You can also submit questions to our support team directly. Please do share your questions with our Bookshare community by posting a comment in this blog, on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll address it in a future post.

people holding hands with the text "stay connected"Subscribe to our blog to get answers to monthly support questions and stay connected with Bookshare on all your favorite social media channels for product updates, cool stories, events and popular titles.

P.S. The Bookshare Web Reader could be an important tool for you in our Summer Sleuths Reading Contest.

Mr. Mercedes…NEW Stephen King Thriller!

2014 June 4
by Bookshare Team Member
Mr. Mercedes book cover. Image of an umbrella dripping with blood.

Mr. Mercedes book cover. Image of an umbrella dripping with blood.

Nothing will start your summer reading engine faster than a suspenseful thriller! And who writes them better than Stephen King? Fans of mystery and suspense fiction are revved up for King’s latest book, Mr. Mercedes, just released! We’re delighted to have this new thriller available to download in the Bookshare collection of over a quarter million titles! If you are a Stephen King enthusiast, the good news is that Mr. King has forged into a whole new category of books—crime dramas. This one is being described as his first true detective novel. For this reason, we felt driven to include it in our Summer of Sleuths Reading Contest, which features an array of detective and mystery books for U.S. Individual Members to relish this summer. Titles for U.S. Adult Readers Mr. Mercedes is one of 15 Summer of Sleuths titles that adults can enjoy reading for the contest. The book is in good company, with classic works by masters of mystery and suspense such as Lee Child, Harlan Corban, J.D. Robb, Clive Cussler, and James Patterson. Titles for U.S. Students in 9th Grade and Up Adolescent readers who participate in the contest can choose from an impressive list of thrillers, including Vanished, Paper Towns, Nobody’s Secret, and Alliance, to name a few. Titles for U.S. Students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade Younger students who are individuals members can participate in the Summer of Sleuths Contest  and navigate 15 equally intriguing mysteries with fictional young detectives such as Cam Jansen, Nancy Drew, Theodore Boone, and Encyclopedia Brown. Answer Clues to Win Contest Prizes! To participate in the contest, Bookshare Individual Members will submit answers to questions from these books. The more answers you submit, the better your chances of winning cool sleuth-worthy prizes! If you haven’t already done so, sign up for notification of the Summer of Sleuths Contest. Then, download books and search for answers to these clues and questions. You can submit your answers on the contest website between June 16th and August 1st. If you choose to read Mr. Mercedes, let us know if you think Stephen King will find a space in the superstore-sized parking lot of crime dramas. Tell us why on Facebook, Twitter (hashtag #SummerOfSleuths), and Pinterest. people holding hands with the text "stay connected"Stay connected to Bookshare on all the social media channels for news of the latest thrillers and popular bestsellers, product updates, member stories, events, and much more to come!

Penguin Group U.S.A. Pushes Bookshare Collection Above a Quarter Million Titles!

2014 May 30
by Bookshare Team Member

Penguin Group U.S.A. has signed an agreement giving Bookshare worldwide rights to their titles. Penguin has uploaded over 16,500 titles, pushing Bookshare’s collection to over a quarter million titles. Wow! Stay tuned for an official announcement of this major milestone.

Robin Seaman

Robin Seaman

Robin Seaman, Director of Content Acquisition, a Benetech Global Literacy Initiative, said, “Bookshare members will be dazzled by the enormous range of content from one of the world’s most distinguished publishers. Penguin’s titles run the gamut from literary classics and award-winning nonfiction titles to today’s most thrilling bestsellers and beloved children’s books.”

We’re particularly happy to add to Bookshare’s collection the Puffin series of books for younger readers—with images! Now joining the Bookshare collection are bestsellers from Elizabeth Gilbert, Nora Roberts, Harlan Coben, Stuart Woods, Khaled Hosseini, and dozens of the hottest authors publishing today.

Book cover of the Complete Father Brown series.

Book cover of the Complete Father Brown series.

Readers will also be delighted with such classics as The Penguin Complete Father Brown Series by G.K. Chesterton. They will also get to read such popular teen titles as Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead, Matched by Ally Condie, and The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller.

Here’s a sneak preview of best-selling authors from Penguin now in our collection:

John Green: The Fault in Our Stars

Ann B. Ross: Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeovers

Book cover for The Death of Money

Book cover for The Death of Money.

James Rickards: The Death of Money

Stuart Wood: Carnal Curiosity

James MacBride: The Good Lord Bird

Sue Monk Kidd: The Invention of Wings

Zac Bisonnette: Good Advice from Bad People

Thank you, Penguin Group U.S.A.!

people holding hands with the text "stay connected"Join us on Facebook to discuss your favorite Penguin titles. For more product updates, cool stories, events, and popular books, stay connected to Bookshare on all our social media channels.

 

Bookshare Community Rocks First Live Twitter #PoetryJam!

2014 May 27
Image of the words Poetry Corner with a quill and ink bottle.

Image of the word Poetry Corner with quill and ink bottle.

In April, we celebrated National Poetry Month by featuring poets and poetry books in our social media channels. We also invited our Twitter friends to join us in creating poetry online together.

During the week of April 21st through 25th, we switched our focus from reading poetry to writing poetry and experimented with an interactive Twitter event: our first-ever Bookshare Community Poetry Jam!

You, our fun-loving Bookshare members, educators, volunteers, parents, and accessibility advocates, rocked this event with creativity, sentiment, humor, and love. During the week, anyone could tweet lines of poetry day or night using the #PoetryJam hashtag.

Our staff suggested daily themes, retweeted participants’ poetry, held poetry jam “office hours” for live interaction, and tweeted a few poems of their own. With plenty of real-time interaction and poems both serious and silly, we consider our experiment a success! Thanks to all who participated or helped to spread news of the event.

Here are just a few of the wonderful poems you tweeted:

@CanesEagle1 (Jimmy Vonderlinden): “listening is reading, and with reading comes a more open mind.”

Image of tweet by Jimmy Vonderlinden

Poem tweeted by @CanesEagle1 (Jimmy Vonderlinden): “listening is reading, and with reading comes a more open mind.”

 

 

Poem by Madilyn, age 9, tweeted by educator @WePerceive: “An octopus wearing a hat; a cat sitting on a mat. A giraffe reading a book about how to cook.”

Image of tweet by Madilyn

Poem by Madilyn, age 9, tweeted by educator @WePerceive: “An octopus wearing a hat; a cat sitting on a mat. A giraffe reading a book about how to cook.”

 

 

 

Earth Day haiku tweeted by @keregan (Kerri Regan): “Listen to the birds, Feel the breeze ruffle your hair, This is your planet.”

Image of tweet by Kerri Regan

Earth Day haiku tweeted by @keregan (Kerri Regan): “Listen to the birds, Feel the breeze ruffle your hair, This is your planet.”

 

 

 

Poem tweeted by Brie of @Fedora_Outlier: “Read with out your eyes. Listen to the fedorawords spoken out loud. Books are always a joy.”

Image of tweet by Brie at Fedora Outlier LLC

Poem tweeted by Brie of @Fedora_Outlier: “Read with out your eyes. Listen to the words spoken out loud. Books are always a joy.”

 

 

Poem tweeted by @JonDresner: “I have many books I have not read all of them ...but I jonathanstill want more.”

Image of tweet by Jonathan Dresner

Poem tweeted by @JonDresner: “I have many books I have not read all of them… but I still want more.”

 

 

 

 

For extra fun, we used Storify to turn each day’s tweets into a story.  You can link to them below and let us know which poems are your favorites by leaving a comment on this blog, Facebook or Twitter.

Day 1: Monday reading and the craving for chocolate bunnies.

Day 2: In celebration of Earth Day, nature-themed haiku.

Day 3: For World Book Day, poems about books and authors.

Day 4: Poems incorporating book titles.

Day 5: Bookshare haiku and poetry jam wrap-up.

Get Ready for More Fun!

Spyglass with dog prints. Text reads Bookshare Sleuths Contest

2014 Summer of Sleuths Reading Contest Logo

Are you ready for more fun Bookshare events and contests? Our Summer of Sleuths Reading Contest is just about to start!  Stay connected to Bookshare on our social media channels for more product updates, cool stories, events, and popular book titles.

 

Bookshare Individual Members – Get Ready for the Summer of Sleuths Contest!

2014 May 20
by Bookshare Team Member
Spyglass with dog prints.  Text reads Bookshare Sleuths Contest

2014 Summer of Sleuths Reading Contest Logo

Are you ready to solve this summer’s most intriguing mysteries? Get ready for the Summer of Sleuths Contest from Bookshare!

This is our sixth and most exciting summer contest to date, and we invite all Bookshare Individual Members to participate. Will you be Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, or the Hardy Boys? Put on your detective cap and help solve these cases!

How does the contest work?

  1.  Contestants examine clues provided by Bookshare.
  2. Contestants uncover the answers inside of great detective books (Bookshare will provide reading lists).
  3. Contestants who answer clues correctly will be entered to win great prizes!

What are the prizes? How do you win?

For each clue that is answered (and corresponding book downloaded), contestants will be entered for a chance to win. So the more clues you answer, the greater your chance of winning!

There will be two contest group prizes, one for U.S. students and one for nonstudents. There will be 20 winners in each group.

  •  U.S. non-students: One-year Bookshare membership extension, a $50 value (20 winners chosen at random)

 Who can join?

All contestants must have an active Bookshare Individual Membership. (Teachers, learn how to get students Individual Memberships. Individuals, sign up today!)

 When can you start?

The contest officially starts on June 16 and runs through August 1, but you can get ready now!  Here’s how:

  • Tell others teachers, students, and members about this so they can join too.

 

people holding hands with the text "stay connected"Stay connected to Bookshare on all the social media channels for more product updates, cool stories, events, and popular book titles.

 

 

Bookshare Support Question – What’s the Quickest and Easiest Way to Read Books from Bookshare for Individual Members?

2014 May 16
by Bookshare Team Member
Hand holding a smartphone

Hand holding a smartphone

Welcome to Bookshare’s support question of the month. In this inaugural post, our knowledgeable and responsive Support Team will address a commonly asked question from members just like you!

Every month, the team will choose a new support topic to help you get more out of Bookshare, so make sure you subscribe to our blog for these great tips.

Here’s our first month’s support question: 

“What’s the quickest and easiest way to access and read a Bookshare book for Individual Members?” 

Drum roll please… The answer is through the Bookshare Web Reader. This reader works on both Mac and Windows. Individual Members can use it to open and read books directly within their Internet browser.  You simply select “Read Now.”

Here are step-by-step directions that our Support Team recommends:

1. Open Google Chrome and log into Bookshare

2. Search for a book

3. Select “Read Now”

4. Follow prompts to install the Chrome Extension (you only need to do this your first time).

5. Your book will open, and you can begin reading by clicking the Start TTS button.

For more information, please read our support solution or watch this tutorial video.

Do you have questions you want answered? Visit our support portal; it’s full of great information on commonly asked questions. You can also submit questions to our support team directly.

And if you have a question you would like to share with the wider community, post a comment below or on Facebook, and we’ll address it in a future post.

people holding hands with the text "stay connected"Stay connected with Bookshare on all your favorite social media channels for product and support updates, cool stories, events and popular titles.

P.S. The Bookshare Web Reader could be an important tool for you in our Summer Sleuths Reading Contest.  (link)

 

Cheers to Bookshare Moms—Our Heroes and Ambassadors of Accessible Books!

2014 May 11
by Bookshare Team Member

Today on Mother’s Day, we shout out a Happy Mother’s Day to Bookshare moms!  Thank you for dreaming of a world where all children enjoy the best possible reading experience. Through your extraordinary efforts to advocate for accessible books and technologies, tens of thousands of children with print disabilities can now study alongside their classmates, read a popular children or teen series, and learn independently for the first time. In this blog, we’re sharing stories about extra special moms and kids who believe in this mission.

We also want you to know about the new Bookshare Parent Ambassador Program and invite you to join our online community of parents and caregivers who want to help more families learn about Bookshare. This network will bring together parents who want to grow their knowledge, share information and resources, and talk with families of children with print disabilities.

Now on to these great stories about moms around the U.S. who are ambassadors for reading equality. Maybe we’ll feature your good works next!

Kathy Stratton and her son and daughter

Kathy Stratton and her son and daughter

Mrs. Kathy Stratton, New Jersey

Bookshare Student Advisor Receives 2013 CEC Yes I Can! Award

Kathy and her son Brian travel with members of the Decoding Dyslexia NJ group to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to seek support for educational issues. They want to encourage more participation in the Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. Brian is a student adviser for Bookshare.  He also writes a popular assistive technology blog that regularly features Bookshare product news.  In 2013, Brian won the CEC Yes I Can! Award for his advocacy.

 

Casey Meadows

Casey Meadows

Mrs. Casey Meadows, Texas

iPad, Digital Books, and Portable Reading App Open New World of Learning for 7th Grader

Last year, Casey met with her local school to talk about the reading success of her son, Connor when he uses digital books and technologies. Connor has cerebral palsy and loves to read.

Casey gave his teachers information about the local Bookshare teacher training program too, called Accessible Books for Texas (ABT).

She encouraged school administrators to apply for an Organizational Membership to Bookshare and routinely encourages educators and parents to ensure that all children who qualify have Individual Memberships.  This enables them to download books outside of school for reading pleasure, especially over the summer.

Jennifer Pletcher and daughter Finley

Jennifer Pletcher and daughter, Finley

Mrs. Jennifer Pletcher, MA, and Cheryl Walker, MD

Moms Say, “Bookshare Unlocks Reading Potential for Early Learners”

This terrific blog features two great moms, Jennifer Pletcher and Cheryl Walker, who want to ensure that their daughters, Finlay and Rachel, have access to Bookshare and reading technologies at home. You’ll love the video, photos, and heartfelt wishes in this terrific post. It will inspire you!

Robbie Cooper and her son, Ben

Robbi Cooper and son, Ben

Mrs. Robbi Cooper, Texas

How Digital Books Helped My Family Navigate Dyslexia NCLD blog

Speaking of inspiration, our Mother’s Day blog wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the efforts of Robbi Cooper, a true advocate for digital accessible books and reading technologies in school. Robbi’s speaking and writing efforts have enhanced the knowledge of many, many families. Read Robbi’s blog for the National Center on Learning Disabilities (NCLD) to tap into her wealth of information, experiences, and tested resources.

For new moms and dads who want to learn more about Bookshare, read this blog: Parents, Is Your Child Ready for School? It will give you guidance and simple steps to sign up students who qualify for Bookshare Individual Memberships. Summer is a great time to get started.

Happy Mother’s Day and thank you! 

people holding hands with the text "stay connected"Join our family and tell us on Facebook about other great moms and children making a difference. Check out the new Bookshare Parent Ambassador Program and stay connected to Bookshare on all the social media channels for more product updates, cool stories, events, and popular book titles.

P.S. Did you enjoy these stories about great moms? We’ll leave you with two more!

Parent Advocates for Learning Portability for Children with Chronic Illness by Mrs. Ann Bopp, Texas

Fifth Grader Builds Independence with Bookshare’s Individual Membership and Reading Tools by Mrs. Jessie Drake, California


 

Sharing Best Practices to Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Day!

2014 May 6
by Bookshare Team Member

Today we recognize educators everywhere for their dedication to teaching. That’s why we’re featuring some of the country’s most effective educators and specialists who work with students with print disabilities.

Did you know that across the country, there are nearly 500 Bookshare Mentor Teachers? They use the online library and reading tools in innovative ways in their classrooms and to train other teachers, students, and parents.

Why Do Bookshare Mentor Teachers Do What They Do?      

When asked, they’ll tell you it’s for the children, teens, and older students who could not enjoy reading a book or studying advanced curriculum. Each best practice below represents a tried and true teaching idea or creative way to use Bookshare and reading technologies, brought to you by experts in the field. Take a moment to learn from some of the nation’s best now!

 Jennifer Appleton

Jennifer Appleton

Jennifer Appleton, Reading Specialist at Virginia Alternative Paths Training School, VA

Make Stories Come Alive Through Accessible Books and Sensory Learning

Jennifer likes to pair literature with a sensory learning experience so she can create positive and lasting memories to foster the love of reading.

 

CathyCathy Wilson, Dyslexia Specialist

Cathy Wilson

Cathy Wilson, Dyslexia Teacher, Coppell ISD, TX

Introduce Children with Print Disabilities to Technology Early to Help Them Be Independent 

Cathy likes to train young students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, about technologies with text-to-speech so they can see words highlighted and hear text read aloud simultaneously. This strengthens and reinforces students’ multi-modal learning skills—a universal design for learning (UDL) concept.

 

Jessica Chandler, Teacher at Middletown Schools, Ohio

Jessica Chandler

Jessica Chandler, Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Ohio

School-to-Home Access Includes Digital Books, iPads, and Apps

Jessica advocates for Bookshare and trains other colleagues to use it. Her goal is to ensure that more students with print disabilities gain reading independence. Her tip is to encourage parents to approve Bookshare Individual Memberships so their children can extend reading practice.

 

Theresa Brousseau, MS, MS Ed, Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Bookshare Mentor Teacher

Theresa Brousseau

Theresa Brousseau, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, NY

Praise for Bookshare’s Accessible Books and Reading Technologies

 

Theresa says, “With digital accessible books and reading software or portable devices, students can and will improve their reading fluency and comprehension skills.”

 

Sallie Spencer, Former Principal, Reading and Special Ed Teacher, Olivet,

Sallie Spencer

Sallie Spencer, Reading and Special Ed Teacher, MI  

Bookshare Student Shares Reading Success in White House Film Festival

Sallie will tell you what a great difference Bookshare and portable devices have made for her students, especially 8th grader Carson Maxson, who submitted a video to President Obama for the first White House Student Film Festival. His video demonstrates his reading success using technology and Bookshare in the classroom.

 

David Cohen Bookshare Mentor Teacher sitting at his desk.

David Cohen

David Cohen, Vision Technology Coordinator, New York City Department of Education’s District 75/Citywide Services

Value of Bookshare’s Online Library for Visually Impaired Students

 

Implementing Bookshare in a large district takes a lot of planning and management, plus technological know-how. David will describe his process for supporting students who read accessible books with technology on all types of devices.

 

Photo of Lisa Gutheil, VI Teacher.

Lisa Gutheil

Lisa Gutheil, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, NY

Train Teachers and Students Together

 

Lisa likes to train students and teachers together—a flipped classroom experience! She says, “Kids get the technology fast!”

 

Kristie Eagles, Resource Room Reading Teacher, Central Middle School, MI

Ms. Eagles in her Resource Classroom Room

Kristie Eagles

Homework Assignment: Give Every Student What They Need for Success!

Kristie wants to make sure that every student gets the resources and technologies they need to be successful.

On this National Teacher Appreciation Day, we thank all educators who are trailblazers in using accessible education materials. You make a difference in the lives of thousands of students! Please keep encouraging Bookshare Individual Memberships, and thank you for creating fun reading adventures and reading independence.

people holding hands with the text "stay connected"For more cool stories, events, and popular book titles, stay connected to Bookshare on all the social media channels.

 

Volunteering for Social Change

2014 April 28
Head shot of Brenda Hendricksen

Brenda Hendricksen

This post was written by Brenda Hendricksen, Volunteer Program Manager at Benetech and is also published on the Benetech blog.

Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank Benetech’s fantastic community of dedicated volunteers who amplify the positive impact we make in the lives of our beneficiaries by contributing their time and skills to support our initiatives.

Volunteers have been crucial to Benetech’s success since the launch of our first venture—Bookshare, the accessible online library of copyrighted materials for people with print disabilities—which depended on members and volunteers to scan books and add the converted digital files to the library’s database. Thanks to their joint efforts and the support of the broader Bookshare community, Bookshare has grown into the world’s largest library of its kind, currently serving more than 300,000 people with a collection of over 230,000 (and counting).

Bookshare today receives the majority of its titles in the form of digital files directly from the socially responsible publishers who partner with us, but each year our volunteers continue to help build the library by scanning and proofreading titles not made digitally available to us as well as books of personal interest. Additionally, as we’ve expanded the scope of our work, the ways in which Benetech’s community of volunteers engages with our multi-issue initiatives, too, have grown.

Still within the realm of our Global Literacy Program, volunteers now also help us advance the accessibility of the Bookshare collection by describing images in textbooks, using our open source Poet image description tool developed by our DIAGRAM Center. Since we launched Poet in 2012, our volunteers have contributed tens of thousands of image descriptions of Bookshare textbooks, thus significantly improving the learning experience for Bookshare members with visual disabilities.

Photo of BYU students describing Bookshare textbook images during an "image slam" event they organized on the BYU campus on March 18, 2014.

BYU students at a recent “image slam” on campus. Photo credit: BYU Bookshare community https://www.facebook.com/BYUBenetech

Consider the wonderful contributions of our student volunteers from Brigham Young University (BYU), who regularly meet to describe Bookshare textbook images. It all started when Bookshare launched a partnership with BYU students through the University’s Peery Social Entrepreneurship program. The successful partnership—now in its third year—involves each semester a new team of interns who work to promote the creation of accessible images for textbooks. Each team builds upon the work accomplished by the prior semester’s team, making sure to document all of their efforts so that the work can be passed forward. BYU students have not only organized dozens of “image slam” volunteer events resulting in the creation of hundreds of image descriptions, but they have also streamlined processes, created training documents, evaluated software, and forged strategic relationships with campus groups to engage hundreds of students in volunteer service with Bookshare. Their entrepreneurial goal is to create a replicable model for establishing similar programs on other college campuses.

Moreover, Benetech now proudly operates at the hub of technology-for-good volunteer engagement, bridging the technology and social sectors. We do this through our newest initiative, SocialCoding4Good, which connects software development professionals with opportunities to volunteer their time and technical talent to organizations creating open source technology solutions for social good.

Photo of a session on volunteering and coding for social good at VMware, Palo Alto, CA.

SocialCoding4Good and IDEO.org talking about coding for social change at VMware

First launched as a Benetech Labs pilot project, SocialCoding4Good has become a vibrant community driving social impact through Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS). SocialCoding4Good’s HFOSS Project Partners work on some of the world’s toughest challenges in areas spanning disaster response, education, human rights, and poverty alleviation. They include Amara, Medic Mobile, Mifos, Mozilla Webmaker, and Wikimedia Foundation, among others.

By matching mission-driven organizations that create open source software for social change, on the one hand, with corporate social responsibility programs and pro bono teams as well as individual technical volunteers, on the other hand, SocialCoding4Good is igniting sustainable, cross-sector collaboration and long-term volunteer engagement that accelerate social progress through technology. We’ve observed how this model underscores the power of a single contributor to create transformative impact. You can learn more, for instance, about the impact that Medic Mobile has achieved with support from SocialCoding4Good.

We invite you to join our vibrant community of volunteers. If you’re a software development professional with web, mobile, or data expertise and passion for building technology to make a positive difference in the world, then head to SocialCoding4Good’s Volunteer signup form and tell us more about you. If you’d like to learn more about or get involved with other Benetech volunteer opportunities, please visit our Volunteer webpage and complete our signup form.

Finally, to all our amazing volunteers: thank you so much for your invaluable support, time, energy, and generosity. We’re blessed to have you as part of the Benetech family.

Happy National Volunteer Month, everyone!

Image is a hand of many colors and the text Supporting National Volunteer Month

Supporting National Volunteer Month

Homework Assignment: “Give Every Student What They Need for Success!”

2014 April 22
Ms. Eagles in her Resource Classroom Room

Ms. Eagles in her Resource Classroom

Eighth grade students in Kristie Eagles’s Resource Room at Central Middle Schools in Michigan have social studies homework almost every night. These reading assignments typically cover two or three sections in a K–12 textbook to prepare for Q&A class discussions.

Ms. Eagles notes that, at this grade level, reading assignments for students can be challenging, especially for those with learning disabilities. Giving students what they need for learning success is this educator’s motto!

Classroom Poster: ‘Fair Isn’t Everybody Getting the Same Thing, Fair Is Everybody Getting What They Need to be Successful.’

Classroom Poster: ‘Fair Isn’t Everybody Getting the Same Thing, Fair Is Everybody Getting What They Need to be Successful.’

Ms. Eagles is a Bookshare Mentor Teacher and keeps a poster on her wall that says…Fair isn’t everybody getting the same thing…Fair is everybody getting what they need to be successful.”

This is to remind herself, her students and other teachers that there are a lot of cool resources for learning, including computers, iPads, and Bookshare.

She says, “I like portable devices for anytime, anywhere reading and Bookshare is one resource to help me provide accessible books to support students with print disabilities. Individual memberships are the way to go!”

Bookshare Individual Memberships

To ensure that students with print disabilities who qualify get accessible reading materials and the technologies to read digital books, Ms. Eagles uses the online library to provide timely access to textbooks, novels, and periodicals in accessible formats.

“With limited time, it’s great to see my students click a button to download a book and start reading,” she says. “I like to encourage them to sign up for Individual Memberships.  That way, they have more opportunities to become independent readers. To pull out a cell phone or tablet, download an accessible book, and read it anywhere there’s Internet is a beautiful experience. You put the power in their hands and learning success becomes fair, achievable, and within reach.”

It’s Easy to Get Students Bookshare Individual Memberships from Your Organizational Membership Account!  Watch this “Learn It Now” Video Tutorial now!

This video tutorial will demonstrate how to get students an individual Bookshare membership and quickly link them through an Organizational account.

About the Bookshare Mentor Teacher Program

The Bookshare Mentor Teacher program began in 2010 to support the nation’s top teachers and assistive technologists with training tools to engage educators, parents, and students in the effective use of Bookshare’s online library and reading technologies.  Since that time, over 500 educators and specialists have joined the network. They work in their local communities and schools to advocate on behalf of students with print disabilities.  They also develop and share best practices across the United States.

The Bookshare team sends a special thanks to Ms. Eagles for sharing her best practice.

people holding hands with the text "stay connected"Remember to stay connected to Bookshare through all the right channels to get the latest news, member stories, online training events, contests, and more!

P.S. Please also read, “Educators, Get Your Students Access to Bookshare at Home Easily through Your School Account”  to learn about all the benefits for students, especially reading independence.