The EduCast USB Duplicator System with MP3 Players from Hamilton Electronics serves three main functions without the need for a PC: copies audio lessons or class assignments from a single flash drive to 15 units instantly (can be expanded to 30 by daisy-chaining two drives), collects assignments and information from 15 drives and consolidates into one for teacher’s review of student projects, and provides a re-usable and low energy solution to storing and distributing classroom material. For example, a choir teacher can distribute songs to his students by inserting the USB into an MP3 player and copy all the songs in a matter of minutes. The teacher can copy all the files for to up to 15 more USB drives. At the end of a grading period, a teacher can collect all assignments from a class to one USB drive in a matter of minutes.
Pros: The product is simple plug-and-play. Just insert the source drive in the slot marked source, insert the target drives in one or more of the target slots, and press a button.
Cons: Not sure if the cost justifies the use it would get in a school. Educators would also need to be mindful of copyright issues.
Overall Impression: This is a really good idea, especially since more teachers have sample files they want to distribute to students. For example, in our school, we have to download large print books for visually impaired students and this type of device would be fantastic to distribute these files to students.
Retail Price: $1,399 with 16 MP3 USB drives
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