Herb Miller
7 ways schools are leveraging ebooks and audiobooks

The Innovator Solutions section includes contributions from corporate sponsors and advertisers representing education organizations, businesses, policy-making bodies and other influencers dedicated to transforming education. This blog post was provided by OverDrive Education.

Classroom technology integration is an obvious priority for today’s districts and schools. Having digital books to provide easily accessible content to students is an important component.

“It makes it easier because you don’t have the drawbacks of print resources,” said Kate MacMillan, coordinator of library services for the Napa Valley Unified School District (CA). “Digital titles will never be lost and staff doesn’t have to spend time managing print resources.”

Here are seven ways ebooks and audiobooks are being used with students:

1. Emerging readers

Students who read at a lower level than their classmates tend to shy away from reading all together. Digital books let them read at the level they’re comfortable with while maintaining their the privacy because others can't see what they’re reading.

2. Audiobooks for English language learners

English language learners can better understand sentence structure and language flow by listening to audiobooks in English. Studies also show that listening to audiobooks helps with knowledge retention as well as comprehension.

3. Class-assigned reading and book reports

Teachers can use ebooks for class assignments and book reports and guarantee the titles won’t be lost or damaged. This also enables students to access the titles on any device, so they always have their books whether at school, home or on the go.

4. School library or media center

During weekly visits to the library, students can borrow titles on school computers to enjoy graphic novels, comics or short stories and read them in their browsers. School librarians can help provide recommendations aligned with curriculum.

5. Test prep

Students want to study when it’s convenient for them. Test prep materials in digital format provide that convenience and can be accessed from anywhere. Unlike physical test-prep materials, digital versions don’t have other students’ notes written on the pages. Instead, students can highlight text and take notes on their own device, and it’s only seen by them.

6. Language learning

Students studying a new language can borrow digital titles in that language to better understand format and structure. They can also listen to foreign language audiobooks for context clues and flow.

7. Supplemental reading

Teachers can assign supplemental digital reading materials to align with any subject and topic. Supplemental reading provides deeper insight into historical events, people or ideas being presented by the teacher, and students can access the content on their own time.

Herb Miller, Ed.M. from Harvard University, is an ISTE member and serves as the director of OverDrive Education, the leading digital reading platform for K-12. He specializes in helping districts and schools effectively implement digital content to maximize impact on students and educators. Follow OverDrive Education on Facebook and on Twitter @OverDriveEd.

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