With Print Supplies Disrupted, More Schools Adopt Digital Books for Remote Learning
Students access assigned curriculum titles as ebook or audiobook via Sora reading app
CLEVELAND – September 24, 2020 – 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, LearnZillion, 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.”
In addition, King stated how Sora helps the district – which relies on the EL Education curriculum – to meet students’ needs and interests in the timeliest way possible. “When demand is high for certain titles, we can be responsive to student interest in a matter of hours, and we can link to the titles and collections directly from our learning platform.”
”As schools reopen and students return amid great uncertainty, publishers, curriculum experts, educators, and school librarians are rallying to support them in innovative ways with digital books,” said Angela Arnold, General Manager of OverDrive Education. “We’re combining our company’s 30+ years of digital book experience and publisher relationships to maximize catalog availability and choice of pricing models.”
The newest Sora feature is the On-Demand Class Set, which allows schools to purchase the right number of books for students in an assigned module or unit. OverDrive works with 30,000 publishers to secure digital editions for titles that were previously only available in print as well as to provide efficient price models. “Schools need to maximize budgets, so we work closely with publishers to participate in cost-effective class set pricing. This model is ideal for individual classes, grades, buildings or an entire district,” adds Arnold.
Students benefit from Sora’s learning tools including a dyslexic font, exportable notes and highlights, built-in dictionary and Google Translate. The app offers improved accessibility, incentivized reading with avatars and achievement badges, classroom-specific tools like personalized assignments, reading analytics and more. Frequent innovative updates are driven by educator and student feedback and performance metrics. All Sora users are also invited to connect their student reading app with their local public library to access collections of age- and grade-appropriate ebooks, audiobooks and more.
The Sora app was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions 2019 and is available for students to download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and on Chromebooks that support the Google Play Store. It is also available for use in web browsers at https://soraapp.com on any computer.
Educators can learn more about Sora and the new curriculum support by visiting https://company.overdrive.com/k-12-schools/discover-sora/ and register for a Discover Sora free trial.
About OverDrive Education – a division of OverDrive
OverDrive Education is the leading digital reading platform for K-12 schools, offering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks and streaming video. As a 100% digital company serving over 30,000 schools worldwide, OverDrive combines technology with content to support learning and reading in the K-12 classroom, library and home on all major devices. Sora, the student reading app, was named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive – the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide – and OverDrive Education are based in Cleveland, Ohio USA. OverDrive was acquired by funds affiliated with global investment firm KKR in 2020. overdrive.com/schools
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