Sora “Content Bundles” Feature Empowers Educators to Easily Reserve Digital Books for Specific Students

CLEVELAND – January 18, 2022 – Educators who are looking for more efficient ways to support reading outcomes have a new solution: Content Bundles. This new feature allows educators to reserve and bundle digital books from their school’s Sora collection, offering exclusive access for select students based on specific scenarios. Using a code, the students can then unlock and read the ebooks and audiobooks in Sora, the leading student reading app available in more than 53,000 schools worldwide.

“Content Bundles is the very feature we have been looking to implement in our Sora shared collection,” said Ken Zimmerman, Supervisor of Educational Technology at Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 in Pennsylvania. ”This provides us with so many options to filter content to meet specific district, classroom and learning needs.”

Content Bundles are a flexible tool that can serve as an effective solution for many common education scenarios, both inside and outside the classroom. For instance, educators can:…Read More

Are banned books challenges, or opportunities for innovation?

When I finished Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code, I began researching the validity of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene sharing a bloodline protected by a secret society. When J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was accused of promoting the devil and witchcraft, I dove into the series. When Oprah pulled Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt off her Book Club, I put it on hold at the library. 

When the world makes a fuss about a book, consider my attention piqued.

Skimming the American Library Association’s list of most banned and challenged books over time, I’ve read more than my share, from To Kill A Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Diary of Anne Frank to Captain Underpants and 13 Reasons Why. I have to say I’m quite surprised Flowers in the Attic didn’t make the list as it made the 10-year-old me… well… blush.…Read More

Capstone and Buncee Invite Classrooms to Help Share Holiday Cheer “Holiday Hugs” Program To Bring Messages and Books to Patients at Children’s Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – December 3, 2021 – Capstone, an innovative publisher and education technology provider of children’s content for schools and home, and Buncee, its newly acquired creation and collaboration tool for students and educators, are inviting students to help create kind and supportive Holiday Hugs messages to children in the hospital this holiday season. Capstone has pledged to donate one book for every five Holiday Hugs ecards created which will be gifted to patients at Children’s Minnesota pediatric health system.

Holiday Hugs encourages students and educators to create fun, interactive holiday ecards with thoughtful messages or even silly jokes for children spending their holidays in the hospital. Classrooms add their ecards to the official Holiday Hugs online board, which will be shared with patients at Children’s Minnesota. The more Holiday Hugs created by December 15, 2021, the more books Capstone will donate to Children’s Minnesota, up to 500 books. 

“We hope Holiday Hugs helps make the Holidays shine a little brighter for kids in the hospital and shows them that they have a community who cares and is rallying behind them. Capstone would love to reach our goal of 500 books to donate to Children’s Minnesota, so we hope that sparks students to create more Holiday Hugs,” said Scott Sustacek, Capstone President.…Read More

New Sora Showcase Turns Any Touchscreen Display into Kiosk for Student Discovery of Digital Books

CLEVELAND – October 29, 2021 – As schools embrace the digital shift and rely more on digital books to support learning outcomes, educators are searching for creative ways to drive awareness and usage. Now, educators can use Sora Showcase, free touchscreen software that promotes student discovery, adoption and usage of their school’s digital book collection. Sora is the leading student reading app available to over 50,000 schools worldwide.

Sora Showcase is free customizable software that lets schools turn any touchscreen display – large or small – into a promotional kiosk that highlights books in their Sora collection. Students can browse their school’s collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines, enjoy samples of titles, and generate QR codes to  easily borrow titles in the Sora app. The display also includes a QR code to immediately install the app on their own device and start reading.

“Sora Showcase couldn’t have come along at a better time since we are getting ready to roll out our new digital collection,” said Sally McAlexander, Librarian at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Missouri. “Sora Showcase is generating so much excitement in our students, and we plan on having it rolling during parent-teacher conferences to connect our community with our digital collection. The step-by-step instructions allowed me to get this operational in just a few minutes.”…Read More

3 activities that will turn classroom robots into SEL power tools

If I had one teaching tool at my disposal in a classroom besides pencils, papers, and books, it would be an educational robot. A robot is the single most engaging learning tool I’ve used with students. It appeals to children of all ages, genders, and backgrounds—and it goes beyond technology to include so many learning goals. In fact, when I was at the pre-K-8 Park School, I considered it one of the most important social-emotional learning tools I’ve used.

There are so many demands on teachers’ time, especially at the beginning of a new school year, that teaching with a robot may not be on their lists of must-do activities. But robotics can be easily incorporated into instruction. As a lead makerspace educator, I’ve found that the best way to help teachers integrate robots into their lessons is to identify the skills they’re looking to teach and demonstrate how they can accomplish it with classroom robots.

As students return to the classroom after a tumultuous and traumatic year, SEL is going to be especially important. Here are a few activities that have helped the teachers in my school connect STEAM and SEL.…Read More

BOOKR Kids Enters US Educational Market With BOOKR CLASS Next Generation ESL Learning App For Classrooms And Families

BUDAPEST/LOS ANGELES (October 1, 2021) – An acclaimed and multi award-winning English As A Second Language (ESL)appin daily use with over 20,000 classrooms across Europe is launching in the US.  Produced and distributed worldwide by Budapest-based EdTec leader BOOKR Kids ( For Schools – BOOKR Kids) BOOKR Class combines original animation, music, interactive games, storytelling, animated flash cards with 4,000 words and a vast library of children’s books from prestigious publishers including Oxford University Press, Albert Whitman & Company and Blue Apple Publishing to deliver a first-of-its-kind ESL tool for both classroom and home use.

According to BOOKR Kids Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dorka Horvath, BOOKR Class underscores the unique effectiveness of ability digital media as ESL learning tools for the classroom.  “The digital world is constantly evolving, and students nowadays are constantly connected to digital media. Thanks to these many digital stimuli, their stimulus thresholds have risen, making it an increasing challenge for teachers to arouse their students’ interest and maintain their attention. Immersive and interactive, digital learning tools can encourage new levels of creativity and concentration in the classroom,” said Horvath. BOOKR Class presents storybooks in a highly engaging format to focus on reading in English.  Contemporary children’s literature combined with the use of advanced digital technology allows unprecedented opportunity for interactivity and engagement.  “Experiential learning is the future of education.  Children have always been naturally curious and motivated by interactive activities, making them perfect partners for digital educational platforms. Experiential learning can induce curiosity and excitement, creating a dynamic learning environment that engages children by tapping into their natural abilities.”

Organized in multiple levels that specifically address all age groups from kindergarten through eighth grade, BOOKR Classutilizes Accidental Learning as a basis for its comprehensive approach to teaching English.  A burgeoning new category of instruction, Accidental Learning occurs when the student is immersed in a range of activities and experiences outside of the scope of traditional instruction that leads to learning.  BOOKR Class promotes learning English vocabulary and structure as a by-product of enjoying the app’s diverse interactive elements.  To continuously measure each child’s reading ability, BOOKR Classemploys Lexile® Framework for Reading learning measurement technology. …Read More

If Not You, Then Who? Children’s Book Series Launches Classroom Program Encouraging Students To Explore The World Of Inventions And Inventors

DALLAS (October 1, 2021) — If Not You, Then Who?, the popular book series for early and grade school children, has launched an educational curriculum for teachers designed to introduce the vast world of inventions and inventors through history to contemporary times into the classroom. 

Each of the If Not You, Then Who books showcases how Inventions and Inventors can come from anywhere, how inventions solve everyday problems and how many of our most enduring inventions were actually created by accident.

To further expand the educational mission of the book series, If Not You, Then Who? has developed a Young Inventors Club  website for in-school and home use along with an Educator’s Guide to help teachers implement the many associated themes in the classroom. The guide aligns the If Not You, Then Who?  books with Next Generation Science Standards sharing such topics as:…Read More

How digital books connect vulnerable students with reading

The definition of success is a “favorable or desired outcome.” At Title I schools, where students are often at a disadvantage from the start, measuring success can look different depending on the student and the circumstance. So when it comes to reading, sometimes success can look like a student simply picking up a book.

In my classroom, students generally read below grade level. However, the increasing prevalence of 1:1 device programs over the last year sparked a significant improvement in their reading habits by providing more access to ebooks and audiobooks. Using digital books has given students access to a wider variety of texts at different reading levels that they can browse with a degree of privacy, removing stigma and instilling a love of reading.

Confidential access to digital books for readers of all abilities…Read More

Empowering students with UX classroom design

It’s the last day of summer break. You walk the halls, ducking your head into classrooms as you go. Each room looks ready for the year: inspiring quotes on walls, names on desks, chairs perfectly arranged. Every room except one, that is.

This particular room has boxes of books, containers of art supplies, and furniture pushed against the wall. You smile and move on, never doubting that this room will be one of the most creative, functional, and beloved rooms in just a few short days. It always is. 
 
How will it get there? The students will make it happen.

Why get students involved? …Read More