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

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

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

Delaware Ensures Every Student Has Digital Access to Curriculum and Choice Reading Titles

CLEVELAND – June 29, 2021 – With schools facing the challenge of unfinished learning due to the pandemic, one state is proving itself a pioneer. The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) announced an agreement with OverDrive Education to provide access to online books to every K-12 student in the state. Students use their school credentials to read required and recreational digital books in the Sora student reading app. Students will also have seamless access to age-appropriate popular ebooks and audiobooks from the Delaware Libraries’ digital collection as a result of the new partnership with the DDOE.

The DDOE invested federal Education Stabilization Funds (ESF) to provide students with access to educational and popular digital books that will be available to 221 schools and their 144,000 students. This “ Delaware Accelerate Learning” digital collection is available for students to borrow and read on any device inside the classroom, at home and anywhere 24/7. Sora is a popular reading app used by millions of students in over 48,000 schools around the world.

“We are excited all public school students in Delaware will have the opportunity this summer to immerse themselves in literacy,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.…Read More

Understanding ebooks: Which model is right for your district?

It’s been almost one year since the country shut down, and schools are still adapting to the new normal of remote and hybrid learning environments–with a newfound reliance on digital books. While ebooks and audiobooks were already a part of many classrooms before COVID-19, they’re now a staple and will likely remain one for the foreseeable future.

Schools are increasingly turning to digital books to engage students in all subjects and encourage reading. Usage has been on the rise for years, but now ebooks are more critical than ever, especially with disruptions in the physical book supply chain. With the digital shift in full swing, it’s important to understand how digital books work, including the differences between digital and print pricing and availability.

In addition to benefits such as 24/7 access, flexibility, and no risk of damage or loss – ebooks and audiobooks support K-12 learning in many ways.…Read More

Renaissance Offers Unlimited, Free Access to More Than 6,500 Digital Books and News Articles

To highlight the importance of daily reading during the COVID-19 pandemic, Renaissance, a global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, is offering unlimited free access to myON digital books and news articles from February 1–7, 2021. The importance of reading materials at home cannot be overstated. In fact, research shows that kids with access to at least 500 books at home are more likely to graduate high school, while kids with minimal access to books often don’t make it past grade 9.*

Students, educators, and parents will access myON through a simple log-in, and low-bandwidth and offline reading options will maximize the reach of the Life Is Better When We Read Together initiative. As part of the week-long celebration of reading, Renaissance will also publish live metrics throughout to see if participants can top last year’s engagement and crack the goal of half a million hours spent reading.

Teachers are encouraged to share what their students are reading on Instagram using the hashtag #BetterWhenWeReadTogether and tag the @renlearnus account. On February 22, one lucky teacher will be randomly selected and their school will receive a six month subscription to myON. If they are already a myON customer, they will be able to gift the subscription to an eligible school of their choice and choose a publisher package add-on for their own school.…Read More

Renaissance Offers Unlimited, Free Access to More Than 6,500 Digital Books and News Articles

To highlight the importance of daily reading during the COVID-19 pandemic, Renaissance, a global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, is offering unlimited free access to myON digital books and news articles from February 1–7, 2021. The importance of reading materials at home cannot be overstated. In fact, research shows that kids with access to at least 500 books at home are more likely to graduate high school, while kids with minimal access to books often don’t make it past grade 9.*

Students, educators, and parents will access myON through a simple log-in, and low-bandwidth and offline reading options will maximize the reach of the Life Is Better When We Read Together initiative. As part of the week-long celebration of reading, Renaissance will also publish live metrics throughout to see if participants can top last year’s engagement and crack the goal of half a million hours spent reading.

Teachers are encouraged to share what their students are reading on Instagram using the hashtag #BetterWhenWeReadTogether and tag the @renlearnus account. On February 22, one lucky teacher will be randomly selected and their school will receive a six month subscription to myON. If they are already a myON customer, they will be able to gift the subscription to an eligible school of their choice and choose a publisher package add-on for their own school.…Read More

With Print Supplies Disrupted, More Schools Adopt Digital Books

With a record number of students going back to school online, educators are urgently turning to digital books in place of print for their established curriculum. In response to this need, OverDrive Education, the leading digital reading platform for K-12 schools worldwide, today announced support for several major curriculum systems. This means that schools can provide instant access to assigned titles as ebooks and audiobooks for in-class and distance learning for all students.

More than 35,000 schools have shifted to OverDrive Education for digital books as the company has significantly expanded its catalog to include grade-leveled class sets aligned to teaching units. To supply both required and recommended ebooks and audiobooks for the classroom, the company is collaborating with a variety of the most popular curriculum developers including EL Education, StudyForge and Schoolwide. With a growing catalog of over one million premium digital titles, students can benefit from anytime, anywhere access with the Sora reading app. In demand curriculum titles include Just Mercy, The Lightning Thief, Hidden Figures, Llama Llama Time to Share, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Ghost and A Long Walk to Water.

“Though there are many challenges and barriers in education right now, Sora has made it so that student access to worthy texts is not one of them,” said Kim King, Director of Virtual Learning & Media Services of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “OverDrive worked hard to help us be strategic within our budget to get our students one-to-one access to our anchor texts and a circulating collection of supplemental texts to build our students’ content knowledge and enthusiasm for reading.”…Read More

Most Popular of 2015, No. nine: 106k free teacher-created digital textbooks hit the web

The move to digital textbooks and resources is spreading as more companies partner with open education efforts

Ed. note: We’re counting down the top stories of 2015 based on popularity (i.e. website traffic) to No. 1 on Dec. 31. This news item on FlexBooks exploded on social media capturing quite a bit of attention.

digital-textbookMore than 100,000 teacher-created digital textbooks are now available online through the CK-12 Foundation’s free STEM content and tools platform.

The 106,000 digital texts, or FlexBooks, come from the roughly 30,000 schools using CK-12’s free and open digital resources. CK-12 is launching two new tools in addition to its new content.…Read More