On Fridays I like to pick an interesting topic or useful resource from the forum here on the site and share it with a large community of educators. There are so many fantastic ideas out there, that I can’t possibly hope to keep up with them, but I am happy to highlight the few that I can. This week’s post is a revival of an old topic that was lingering on the forum. Matthew3, one of the newest members of the community, was interested in the topic about using the Nintendo DS as an e-book reader to motivate students that might otherwise be turned off by a hefty tome of classic literature.
While I had only found the first rumblings and ideas for a DS text reader a few years ago, matthew3 tracked down some solid information about actual software that is available now (for free!). The Moon Books Project is a website completely dedicated to bringing classic literature, films, and other content to the Nintendo DS. After poking around the Moon Books website, I found a few helpful tutorials and downloads to get you started.
…it looks like there are actually a few DS text readers available now. They all require an external card and dock for the DS like an R4 Multimedia or Supercard DS, and then an SD card or Compact Flash depending on what type of doc you purchase for the DS.
Then you can download one of the text reader programs like DS Libris (which just sounds cool being all Latin), or the DS Reader. There are others, but these were the two easiest to find. There are also a couple of How-To guides on getting started with a DS text reader that can be found here and over here.
If you’re willing to get past the techno-mumbo jumbo, it actually sounds like a pretty good way to get e-books on a portable reader for a reasonable sum (much less than for one of Amazon’s Kindles). And since I see about 2 or 3 dozen students after school each day playing with their Nintendo DSes on the way to the bus, there would definitely be plenty of gadgets to try this out. Imagine engaging your students (the older ones at least) with digital copies of the classic literature that they would normally be carrying around in paperback form. As an added bonus, some of the programs are capable of reading other e-text documents, so you could create study guides and other study materials for the students to consume on their portable video game machines.
If I pick up an extra flash card for my DS, I’ll definitely give it a try and let you know how it works.