Schools leveraging end-of-year surpluses to expand digital content
The Beaufort County Public School District is at the forefront of a growing practice among schools to use surplus end-of-year funds to expand their digital content offerings.
Beaufort and other districts say this provides them the ability to offer students and educators fresh, in-demand titles when they return for the start of the new term – a critical factor in ensuring deep engagement with digital content.
The Beaufort schools serve roughly 20,000 PreK-12 students from across the socio-economic spectrum on the scenic southern tip of the state. Known for its strong focus on integrating technology into the classroom, the district recently successfully implemented a 1:1 device program for grades 3-12, and has partnered with OverDrive to deliver digital content to students and educators since 2011.
Anne Aita coordinates the district’s OverDrive service, which connects thousands of readers with digital titles every month. She said leveraging surplus end-of-year funds to grow the district’s selection of digital titles has played an important role in building student and educator interest in eBooks. “Word travels” among students when popular titles are available via OverDrive at the start of the year, she said, boosting digital circulation numbers.
Aita also performs staff training for the district’s OverDrive service at the beginning of each year, and said having new titles to promote during these sessions builds educator enthusiasm around digital content. It’s been proven that one of the best ways to increase student usage of digital content is to have educators on board as active users.