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Free MP3 Players Help Students with Print Disabilities

Corporate philanthropy greatly aids students with print disabilities in need of technology to read books and study! The post about Collaborative Philanthropy in August described a summer initiative to find donations of “low tech,” such as MP3s and thumb drives, to give tech-needy students alternate ways to read books.

Well, we now extend our sincere thanks to SanDisk Corporation for hearing the need and responding. SanDisk generously donated 100 MP3 players and 250 thumb drives to Bookshare for students without access to technology outside of school to use to read.SanDisk MP3 player

How would you use these low-tech devices? At school, teachers can download books from Bookshare on to a school computer. If the student has a computer at home, the teacher can transfer the book to a thumb drive and give the drive to the student to take home and read on the home computer. Likewise, the installer for the free e-reader software Bookshare offers can also be loaded on to the thumb drive for installation on the home computer.

If the student does not have a computer at home or is an auditory learner, the teacher can download the book at school, convert it to an MP3 format, and copy the file to an MP3 player. The student can listen to the book on the bus, at home, or wherever.

These low tech devices are at Bookshare, but we don’t want them. We want them in the hands of students as soon as possible. We want schools to let us know you could use them!

How can you get devices for your students? This month, October 2010, National Learning Disabilities Awareness month, enter the contest through Facebook.  There will be 21 winners, each winning varying quantities of the devices depending on need. The winning bundles will include copies of the software needed to convert to a book to an MP3. Winners can participate in free training to learn how to use Bookshare and the devices. You will need Bookshare membership to win, because these drives are for Bookshare students.

Enter the contest…  or in honor of National Learning Disabilities month, please tell your teachers and friends to get these devices to the students who will benefit the most.

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