Tagged: donate kindle

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Free Kindle Books & Tips endorses the KCP

favicon Imagine my joy when I received an email message a few days ago from Michael Gallagher, who runs the extremely popular blog Free Kindle Books & Tips (fkbt.com), with more than 125,000 regular readers.

Mr. Gallagher was reaching out because he was writing a post to encourage his readers to donate their used Kindles. Would the Kindle Classroom Project be interested in being featured?

I said, Of course!

Little did I know that the KCP was going to be Mr. Gallagher’s exclusive recommendation for his readers’ used Kindles — that is, until I read the post early this morning. Please take a look! It’s entitled, “Donate Your Used Kindle.”

I’m very grateful for the post. Mr. Gallagher does an excellent job introducing his readers to the KCP and offering ways they can learn more. It is evident that Mr. Gallagher has built a strong readership that focuses on helping people make their Kindle experience better, including being informed of the best free and discounted books. I recommend that you check out the blog, and if you’re interested, subscribe to the FKBT daily email digest.

Update: Less than 12 hours since FKBT’s post went live, five people have already submitted their Kindles for donation. I’ve changed the Donate Kindle form so that FKBT readers can let me know how they heard about the KCP. I have a feeling that the Kindle Classroom Project is going to be expanding as a result of Mr. Gallagher’s generosity. Thank you! favicon

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Upgrading to the Kindle Oasis? Donate your used Kindle to students in the SF Bay Area!

favicon I admit it: Though I have no reason to, I’ll be buying the new Kindle Oasis.

Kindle Oasis 3

My Kindle Voyage is fine. And so is my Kindle Keyboard. But I’ve owned every single Kindle since the Kindle 2, and there’s no stopping me. Despite the steep $289 price tag, I’ll be getting an Oasis when it comes out later this month.

It turns out that I’m not alone. A couple days ago, I read that 41 percent of Kindle sales come from current Kindle owners. This means that there are millions of used Kindles in people’s homes across the country, ready to be given away — to partners, children, grandchildren, and friends.

In case you’ve already saturated your friends and families with your previous Kindles, you should consider donating your latest device to students in Oakland and San Francisco.

I run the Kindle Classroom Project, a program that promotes the love and power of reading. Students get a Kindle and anytime access to a library of 730+ books, along with the right to request new books they like. With the KCP, students read what they want, where they want, whenever they want.

Kindles encourage young people to read more because good books are always in their hands.

If you’re interested in donating your old Kindle, check out testimonials from students and teachers. And once you’re convinced, head over to the Donate page to take the next step. Thank you for donating your Kindle, and enjoy your Oasis (as will I)! favicon

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A Kindle and its donation journey, in 7 steps, to the Kindle Classroom Project

IMG_20141101_203803241favicon  “It’s amazing!” one friend told me the other day. “How do you get all these Kindles?”

The short answer is, The Kindles magically arrive on my stoop, shipped from generous donors across the country.

But it’s a little more than that. Here are the steps by which a used Kindle comes to the Kindle Classroom Project.

1. A person comes upon an extra Kindle.
Maybe they upgraded to a Kindle Voyage. Or maybe Santa brought them an iPad.

One donor from Houston recently sent me six Kindles — from the Kindle 2 model all the way to the Kindle Fire. Now that’s a serious reader and Kindle enthusiast!

And then there was a donor last January from Colorado, who sent me seven Kindles — all part of a research and development project (that led to a patent).

But usually, the person has one Kindle and a decision to make: What should I do with this?

2. The person finds the KCP and makes a generous choice.
Here’s an important part of the story. Most people, when finding themselves with an extra Kindle, may think to recycle the device, or else to give it to a family member, or maybe to a community organization, or to a library.

Not KCP donors. They’re thinking big and generously, and for the most part, they’re thinking the Internet.

I haven’t asked too many people how they’ve found the KCP, but usually, it’s in one of three ways: (a) via a Google search, (b) via word of mouth, (c) via another online post (like this one from my friend Iris, or this recent one on Edutopia from my colleague Bob).

After finding the KCP, the generous person may check out the Kindle Classroom Project page, and maybe the Contribute page.

And then comes the most important step.

3. That generous person fills out the Kindle submission form.
The potential donor navigates to Donate Your Kindle on Iserotope and sees the modest form in the middle of the page. Filling out the form takes a lot of trust.

After all, it’s not like Iserotope is a polished, professional website run by a corporate-funded non-profit organization. It’s just me, right? But I do think donors see and can feel the KCP spirit.

In a leap of faith, the potential donor — wherever he or she is (New York? Iowa? California? Kansas?) fills out this form.

Screenshot 2015-01-03 12.23.03

4. I get an email receipt of the form and write a quick note back.
This is the part that always seems like magic. Maybe it’ll be at home, or maybe at work, or maybe on my phone. Each time, the email is a wonderful surprise, no matter if it’s the first form submission I’ve gotten in a week or the second that day.

I quickly write a short but personal note back to the donor, letting him or her know my thanks and where to send the Kindle. Donors have told me that they appreciate that they receive a return email quickly and that it’s clearly written personally and just for them.

5. The generous donor ships the Kindle, and it arrives safely.
Let’s pause and consider what’s happening. A complete and total stranger has decided to donate a working e-reader — which retails anywhere from $69 to $199 — to students in the San Francisco Bay Area. That’s already generous.

What’s even more generous is that most people also contribute a Kindle case and Kindle charger, plus they ship everything (another expense) to my address. It’s a big deal.

Also, you can tell how much generous donors love their Kindles. They really know how to keep their Kindles safe! The packaging is always exquisite: bubble wrap, packaging tape, sturdy boxes. Like this:

Delivered Kindles

6. I thank the generous person and register the Kindle.
Now comes the fun part. The donor gets an immediate thank-you email message, and I write a thank-you card that includes my business card (thanks, Iris and Donovan).

KCP Business Card

The donation also gets announced on Twitter and Facebook and recorded on my KCP donations spreadsheet. This is also the time to change the total number of Kindles on Iserotope.

Charging and registering the Kindle doesn’t take too long. The serial number, donor, and Kindle name are copied on Amazon’s website as well as on my Kindle Inventory spreadsheet. Everything is ready to go!

7. The Kindle goes to an eager student.
The best step, of course, is the last one. It’s when the connection is made between the generous donor and an eager student.

The generous donor, by taking all the steps to contribute his or her Kindle, cares deeply about young people and their reading lives.

The eager student, by accepting the Kindle and agreeing to take care of it, is reclaiming his or her love of reading and embarking on a reading journey.

When I meet with students, I identify the donor by first name and the donor’s city of residence. Students are always surprised and grateful, no matter if the donor comes from San Francisco or Saskatoon.

In just seven steps, now a new student has a Kindle in his or her backpack and a library of books to read.

* * *
Note: Most Kindles are donated this way. But not all. Over the past two years, more than 30 Kindles have come new to the KCP, thanks to generous donors. Right now, students in San Francisco and Hayward are reading on Kindles that generous donors bought on the KCP Amazon Wishlist. I thank those donors, too!

To donate your used Kindle, go to http://iserotope.com/donate-kindle
To purchase a new Kindle, go to http://j.mp/kcpwishlist
To donate to the Kindle Library, go to http://j.mp/kcpquickdonate

And please tell your friends! favicon

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Getting the new Kindle Voyage? Donate your old Kindle to my students!

Kindle Voyage-578-80favicon Wow, the new Kindle Voyage is beautiful.

I’ll be getting one. How about you?

If you get one, I have a proposition: Donate your old Kindle to my students!

For the past four years, generous people from across the country have given me their used Kindles so that I can encourage high school students to read.

My students and I would like you to do the same!

The Kindle Classroom Project now serves 166 students in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Hayward.

If you donate now, your Kindle will be the 167th in the collection!

Donating is really easy. Just fill out a quick form on this page, and then I’ll let you know next steps.

Hope to hear from you soon! favicon

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Donate your broken Kindle! (I’ll fix it, then give it to a student.)

2014-01-02 15.52.30
Hoai from New York sent me these two broken Kindle 3s today. Just a few hours later, they’re as good as new!

favicon Do you have a broken Kindle that you don’t want to throw away in the trash?

Is your Kindle a Kindle 2 or Kindle 3 (also known as a Kindle Keyboard)?

Sure, you could call up Amazon for a replacement if your Kindle is still within the product’s one-year warranty. But that’s unlikely: The Kindle 2 came out in 2009 and the Kindle 3 followed a year later.

Or, if you’re lucky, your kind Amazon customer service representative will offer you a refurbished Kindle for a mild discount.

But why bother? After all, you’ve already graduated to a Kindle Paperwhite or an iPad mini anyway, so that Kindle from eons ago is just cluttering up space in your drawer. And it’s causing you great distress, isn’t it?

Well, I have a solution for you! I really do!

Donate your broken Kindle to the Kindle Classroom Project!

For the last three years, I’ve collected donated Kindles and loaned them to ninth graders in San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward. This has brought much joy and tons of reading. The Project is up to 162 Kindles and 501 Kindle books, and it’s growing rapidly.

Want to help out? All you need is a Kindle 2 or Kindle 3. Then, fill out this easy form, and I’ll be in touch quickly with next steps.

When I receive your Kindle, this is what will happen:
(a) If your Kindle has a broken screen, I’ll use its battery to bring another Kindle back to life, then give it to a student;
(b) If your Kindle has a bad battery, I’ll replace the battery and give it to a student.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. In exchange for your Kindle, I will send you a thank-you letter and publish your first name (unless you’re shy) in an upcoming post on Iserotope! Thank you very much for your generosity. favicon

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Kindle Classroom Project, news and updates: July 2014

This is a lot of what happens during the summer at the Kindle Classroom Project.
This is a lot of what happens during the summer at the Kindle Classroom Project.

favicon Hi there, loyal readers and supporters of the Kindle Classroom Project! It’s summer, which means that I’m resting and relaxing, but I wanted to share with you some quick updates about the Kindle Classroom Project.

After a donation slump that lasted several months, I’m happy to report that Kindles are again arriving. Even though there are more than 150 Kindles now in the collection, it’s still a wonderful feeling to receive an email (from the Donate Kindle page’s form) that someone wants to donate their Kindle to students in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m always very appreciative of people’s generosity, and it makes me especially happy when total and complete strangers find Iserotope on the Internet, decide that the KCP is a worthy cause, and ship their Kindle to me. It’s pretty great.

Also great is that the Kindle library is beginning to grow again. My goal has never been to accumulate tons of titles; after all, anyone can go on Project Gutenberg and download out-of-print classics that no students will read (even though we might want them to). Besides, you don’t want too many books: It’s confusing to students, plus you don’t want to go over the Kindle’s capacity (~1,000 books for some models). But Kindles themselves don’t do anything until there are good books on them. That’s why I’m grateful for all the donors who have purchased books, either via the Contribute page or by checking out my students’ Amazon wishlist.

The past few months, several people have contacted me to ask why I’m focusing more of my attention on physical books. “Isn’t that taking away your energy from Kindles?” I definitely don’t think so. My goal has always been to spread reading among students; I’m not really partial to any specific medium. That said, I do believe strongly in what I call “classroom library mirroring,” where students can see physical books in the classroom and then access them on their Kindle. Without library mirroring, there’s no good way for students to browse and to discover new titles they might want to try out. Therefore, I’ve been working with teachers (via DonorsChoose, mainly) to build physical classroom libraries. If you’re pro-physical book and would like to make a contribution, please let me know!

Coming Up: This Summer’s Projects

Summer is a great time to get ready for the next year and to work on big ways to make the Kindle Classroom Project better.

I’m happy to report that the KCP will be in five schools in August — two in San Francisco, one in Berkeley, one in Oakland, and one in Hayward.

One challenge I’ve had is to build a robust data-gathering system I can study (with some scientific accuracy) the effects of the Kindles on students. Last year, I tried, but it was not too successful for a number of reasons.

So this summer, I’m creating an easy way (via Google Forms) for students to track the books they’ve completed. That data, when compared to their online reading achievement scores, will help me answer more clearly whether students who use Kindles read more and whether they become better readers as a result.

I’ll need teacher collaboration and support, of course, to ensure that students are reporting their reading. No one, after all, likes to fill out a reading log. (The Form won’t be a reading log, promise.) The good news is that I’m working with teachers (and one school librarian!) who are wonderful and incredible and understand the importance of the project. I’ll be introducing them to you beginning in August.

What else? Oh, another big project is to — finally — publish the Kindle library online, categorized by genre. I have procrastinated on this project for too long (for some good and not-so-good reasons), and it’s time to move. It’s not going to be perfect — no cataloging system is — but I’m going to do my best (and maybe ask my librarian-y friends for help).

There are tons of benefits to this cataloging project. First, it’ll be easier for students (and parents) to browse books if the classroom library is not yet mirrored. One copy of the Kindle library will be on Goodreads, so students can check out the book’s summaries and reviews to determine whether to give a book a try.

Second, it’ll make it much easier to organize the books on the Kindles. Students have access to nearly 500 titles (as long as no more than six students are reading the book simultaneously, per Amazon’s policy), and my feeling is that students will more quickly find books they want to read if they’re organized by genre. (This is very similar to why school libraries over the past two decades have moved toward cataloging by genre vs. by author for fiction and by Dewey decimal number for nonfiction.

OK, wow, this is a long post, and I can go on for longer, but I’ll stop for now. Again, I appreciate the support and the enthusiasm that you all have for young people and their reading lives, and I’m hopeful that 2014-15 will be a strong one for the Kindle Classroom Project. Thank you! favicon

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100-Kindle goal smashed, obliterated!

favicon At the beginning of December, just two weeks ago, I announced a bold goal: Let’s reach 100 Kindles by the New Year!

It was a bold goal because at the time, the Kindle Classroom Project had 87 Kindles. There had never been a month in its history where 13 or more Kindles had been donated.

Today, I am very happy to report that the 100-Kindle goal has not just been reached. It has been smashed, obliterated, squashed, crushed, shattered — and many other words!

We now have 111 Kindles!

Most of the credit goes to DSW (Saratoga, CA) for their $2,000 donation, which allowed for the purchase of 20 new Kindles. Want to see? Here’s the biggest Kindle stack in KCP history!

20-Kindle Stack

Yes, the stack keeps going and going. Thank you, DSW, for your continued support of young people and their reading lives. Your generosity will now make it possible for every single ninth grader at a school to receive a Kindle!

Though DSW’s gift has made the bulk of Kindles possible, many other donors have made Kindle contributions this month. Here is a quick list: Matthew (Chicago, IL), Julia (Ann Arbor, MI), Mikey (San Francisco, CA), Amber (Wilkes-Barre, PA), and Deborah (San Francisco, CA). It’s amazing that people find the Project through its Facebook page or its Donate Your Kindle page on Iserotope.

Plus, there are more Kindles to come. In fact, it’s possible that the KCP will reach 120 Kindles by the start of 2014! It’s all amazing.

In addition to Kindles, I’ve received e-books (thank you, Charles), physical books (thank you, Iris), cases (thank you, Mikey), money (thank you, Wil), and batteries (thank you, Saugut and Mary). It takes generosity of many kinds for the KCP to flourish.

Finally, it’s becoming clear that it takes a combination of sustaining donors and new donors to help the KCP to grow. One of my favorite things is hearing that a new donor heard about the project through word of mouth. Though the Kindle Classroom Project is still somewhat small, it’s possible that 2014 will bring some new big things! favicon

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Time to get serious: 100 Kindles by the New Year!

kindle-ribbonfavicon A few months back, I got the crazy idea that maybe we could hit the 100-Kindle mark by 2014. Wouldn’t that be a nice big round number to reach? Though I could be wrong, this wishful thinking likely came in June (a 12-Kindle month) or September (a 10-Kindle month).

Now it’s late-November, and the Kindle donations continue to come in, albeit more slowly. Just last week, I was close to abandoning the 100-Kindle dream, content with the current state of the Kindle Classroom Project, where lots of Kindles are in lots of students’ hands, and lots of students are reading lots of books as a result.

But Mary’s donation today of the 87th Kindle (thanks, Mary!), along with promises that Kindles #88 and #89 will arrive next week, has emboldened me anew. Are we really just 11 Kindles away from the magic number? If so, this is possible, right? Maybe?

With your help, I think it’s possible to reach the 100-Kindle goal.

Here are some ways that you can help:

1. Be on the look-out for Kindle owners who want to upgrade.
Does one of your friends read on a Kindle 2? Wouldn’t that friend want to upgrade to the Paperwhite? Encourage your friend to do so and then donate her old one to the Project.

2. Tell your family, if they celebrate Christmas, to make a contribution to a good cause.
Then, tell your family that this year’s good cause is reading, and direct them to my students’ Amazon Wishlist, where it’s super fast and easy to purchase a new Kindle. Sure, $69 is a lot of money, but if a few family members go in on it, it’s not so costly.

3. Scour Craiglist ads for Kindles and persuade would-be sellers to donate.
This one takes more patience and skill. But it’s a bit addictive once you get the hang of it! I’ve been successful in convincing a few folks on Craigslist (probably 4-5 so far) to forego the $40 they could gain by selling their Kindle and to donate it instead. Suggestion: If you’re successful, don’t go picking up the Kindle on your own. Have the person ship it, or tell me, and I’ll pick it up. 🙂

4. Get the word out about the Kindle Classroom Project.
The more people know about it, the better. Facebook is good. So is Twitter. Best, though, is if you have a personal blog and write a post about the Project. My friend and generous sustaining donor Iris (San Diego, CA) wrote this post in April, and 8-10 Kindles have come from folks who originally read her post before finding my Donate Kindle page. It’s pretty amazing. So yes, if you would be willing to write a quick post (with “donate kindle” in the headline, for best results!), I would be extremely appreciative.

Also, if you have other ideas, please let me know. With your help, I really do think that it’s possible to reach 100 Kindles by the New Year. Let’s do it! favicon

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Don’t have an old Kindle to donate? Not a problem!

favicon Today I spent a sunny and splendid afternoon with two good friends. They’re big proponents of the Kindle Classroom Project.

One friend, Lesley from Menlo Park, has been a generous donor in the past, plus she’s encouraged her friends and coworkers to donate Kindles as well. Go Lesley!

The other friend, Preeti from San Jose, came to the cafe prepared. She was not fooling around. Why do people have to donate old Kindles? she asked. What if she wanted to buy a new one instead?

Um, er…um. Right! You’re right, Preeti! This is pretty spectacular idea.

Up until today, if you wanted to purchase a new Kindle for a student, it wasn’t too easy. You had to contact me and find out my mailing address and ask which model my students wanted. Why not make the process easier?

Preeti was right, and now it is done.

Go ahead, try it out, click on the box, see what happens! You’ll go directly to the Amazon Kindle page, and if you order one for $69 (no need for a charger), it’ll get shipped directly to me. (Note: Click “This will be a gift” and select “Gift Registry Address” for easy shipping.)

Pretty snazzy. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but that goes to Preeti (and to Lesley, for affirming Preeti’s brilliance).

Will Preeti’s idea send oodles of Kindles hurtling in my general direction? I think so. I will keep you posted.

Update, April 22: This — from the Wishlist — is pretty good evidence, don’t you think? 🙂

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 8.48.03 AM

Update #2, April 22: Um, three already? Is this for real? Can’t believe how great this is!

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 10.49.32 AM

In case you can’t find this post later or want to refer your friends to this startling development, I’ve also updated the Contribute and Donate Your Kindle pages to reflect Preeti’s idea.

Thank you, Preeti! favicon