By: Ben Kowalczyk, Account Manager

On Dec. 3, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 73/25, which recognized last Friday, Jan. 24 as the International Day of Education. At OverDrive, we fully understand and appreciate the impact that educators have on the development of our students. It is this understanding and appreciation that helps guide our vision of a world enlightened by reading. It also fueled the development of our student reading app, Sora, and continues to inspire us as we think of ways to better assist educators in the classroom.

To (belatedly) honor this day celebrating the many educators across the world, we wanted to highlight two aspects of Sora that were developed specifically with teachers in mind: Class Sets and Title Assignments.

1. Class Sets

A Class Set is a lending model offered by publishers in OverDrive Marketplace. They work like a lease, in that titles available through this model are available for two-, three- or six-month terms – or a combination of two of those options. Teachers can simply choose the title they want, select the term and start date and enter in the usernames of the students they’d like to receive the title. The title will automatically appear at the top of the users’ Home screens in Sora and will automatically be returned at the end of the term period.

Using a digital Class Set is a great option for a few reasons:

  1. There is no work involved in passing out or collecting physical books. That work is done digitally for you.
  2. Students can leverage Sora’s powerful learning tools – including highlighting, defining, bookmarking, taking notes and adjustable reading settings – to get the most out of these titles.
  3. It is much more cost-effective for a single class that will be using the title for a single lesson, vs. purchasing many copies via another lending model when the title may only get used a few times. It can be a great way to meet high-volume needs more affordably.

2. Title Assignments

Title Assignments help answer a key question: “How do I meet the needs of every single student?” This feature allows you to assign a title to a specific student and ensures that the right book is in the right hands 24/7.

There are two notable benefits to Title Assignments:

  1. They allow you to assign a title for up to 180 days, so that students can read at their own pace
  2. They enable you to override any content access levels that might be set for your student

These two features allow you to encourage students reading above their grade level, as well as protect the privacy of students reading at lower levels. You can discretely assign titles digitally, and they’ll be pushed out to your student’s device automatically.

We hope that these two features in Sora will help you get the most out of your OverDrive service and assist you in providing the best digital reading experience to your students. On behalf of everyone at OverDrive, we salute our educator partners and hope you had a very enjoyable International Day of Education!

About the Author:

Ben Kowalczyk, an Account Manager at OverDrive Education, works with school partners in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Prior to joining OverDrive, he worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, and a sales manager in the Cleveland beer industry. He has a degree in New Media Studies from San Diego State University. He enjoys cooking, reading and traveling with his awesome wife. They have four insane cats and a goofy corgi named Murray Pup.