Digital textbooks a worthwhile frustration, Miami-Dade teachers say

Despite challenges, digital textbooks offer far-reaching benefits, according to educators

digital-textbooks No one is putting pen to paper in Nadia Zananiri’s ninth-grade world history class.

Instead, every student is hunched over the glowing screen of a digital tablet or staring into a laptop display. One is even plugging away on his phone.

A handful of textbooks sit in baskets underneath students’ seats, ignored and unopened.…Read More

8 ways to jump into eBooks

These strategies will help you design an eBook implementation

eBook-webAs districts increasingly move to digital content, many school leaders are chucking printed textbooks in favor of the more interactive content that eBooks and digital texts can offer.

Ann Fondren, retired district library coordinator for Spotsylvania County Schools (Va.), outlined a number of key considerations district library media specialists and administrators must keep in mind as they move to eBooks during “Take the Plunge with eBooks,” an edWeb webinar.

“I believe it’s eBooks and print books that can live quite happily in your library,” Fondren said. “eBooks are just another format to enhance our collections–I don’t believe eBooks eliminate the need for print books or will anytime soon.”…Read More

eBook addresses internet safety, digital citizenship

Free download helps parents, teachers, and students with internet safety awareness

SOTW-internetFirst introduced during National Internet Safety Month in June, NBCUniversal’s The More You Know, in collaboration with NBC News, has launched Growing Up Online, a free, interactive eBook for parents, teachers, and kids about digital literacy and internet safety.

The first release from The More You Know Learning Series, Growing Up Online offers informative, media-rich tools to help parents in discussions with their children about using technology responsibly and safely, as well as entertaining video comic books focused on real-life situations that might arise when kids go online. The eBook features NBC News journalists including Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman speaking about the importance of keeping kids safe online.

Growing Up Online is available as a free download on Apple’s iBookstore for iPad and iPad Mini, Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Kobo, as well as online for desktop and laptop viewing at…Read More

This is the hottest Common Core project in schools right now

What’s a project that combines technology skills, creativity, writing and a sense of accomplishment? Look no further than eBooks.

eBooks-project-schools From webinars to iTunesU courses, and from word-of-mouth to Twitter devotion, everyone in education is talking eBooks. And though eBooks are suitable for a wide range of uses, some of the most innovative teachers are using eBooks as classroom projects, allowing students to gain the Common Core skills they need while letting their creativity to shine.

During a recent webinar, “Students as eBook Creators,” hosted by, Carl Harvey, school librarian at North Elementary School in Noblesville, Ind., and former president of the American Association of School Libraries (AASL), discussed how classrooms across the country are using eBook publishing tools to help craft student projects that use Common Core requirements. [Join the eBooks community at]

The Common Core, said Harvey, asks students to not only better present their critical thinking skills using online tools, but requires them to know many digital literacy skills, and one project that incorporates all of these characteristics is creating an eBook.…Read More

The Netflix of kids’ books? Epic launches on iPad for $9.99/month

The Netflix monthly subscription model is a hit for movies and TV, and is spreading to music with paid versions of services like Pandora and Spotify. In 2014, it looks like the model could finally catch on for eBooks, Gigaom reports. On Tuesday, a company called Epic launched a service that offers children a monthly library of over 2,000 children’s books on the iPad, including popular titles like Olivia, the Berenstain Bears and  Mr. Popper’s Penguins. The books arrive instantly through streaming, and the service also provides features like personalized recommendations and off-line access…

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Colorado schools face challenges in transition to digital textbooks

Mesa County parent Elizabeth Chiono received letters from some of her son’s teachers at the beginning of the school year informing her that he would not get textbooks in history and science classes, the Denver Post reports. The school district instead offers parents a link to online materials, causing the Chionos to have to rush to the school library before tests or to locate another computer whenever the outdated software on their own computer does not allow them to view schoolwork. It’s a growing problem that has complicated the family’s access to educational resources, but Chiono said other families face much more difficult situations. “I know kids that live in trailers who don’t have any access to computers. They barely have food on the table,” Chiono said. “If you don’t have Internet, that puts your kiddos behind.”

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6 ways eBooks can support Common Core

eBooks could help fulfill new standards’ requirements

eBooks-Common As schools begin implementing the Common Core State Standards, experts say that this could be an opportune time for districts to explore eBooks, specifically because eBooks’ technology features can help fulfill many Common Core requirements.

“Right now, schools are investing in a lot of information texts (nonfiction) and hoping to balance these with literacy texts (fiction) for instruction, research, and recreational reading. It’s now, when schools are looking to better implement Common Core Standards that eBooks should come into play,” said Carl Harvey, school librarian for North Elementary School in Noblesville, Ind., during and webinar.

[Harvey recently discussed the first steps of eBook implementation: “What to consider for eBook implementation.”]…Read More

What to consider for eBook implementation

Library expert answers the question: ‘What comes first? eBook content or device?’

ebooks-schoolseBook implementation is becoming crucial for schools and districts as part of the digital content movement. As mobile devices become a classroom staple, printed books are becoming a staple of the past. But as more schools begin to consider eBooks, many administrators are asking “Where do we start?”

According to Carl Harvey, school librarian at North Elementary School in Noblesville, IN, and past president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the first question most administrators ask is “What should we focus on? The content or the device?”

Sometimes it’s hard to consider because you’re wondering ‘do we get devices that are eBook-specific, like Kindles or Nooks, or do we want iPads and use iTunes U? mused Harvey. Or then you ask ‘well, should we focus on a massive platform for content and use whatever devices are compatible for that platform?’…Read More

App of the week: Luca Lashes

lucalashesName: Luca Lashes

What is it? The Luca Lashes’ interactive eBook and app series are based on main character, Luca, whose magical eyelashes help make him brave. Geared toward children ages 0-4, the series help turn “fearful firsts” into educational experiences, whether it’s a child’s first haircut, first dentist visit, first swimming lesson, and more.

Best for: Children ages 0-4…Read More