Technology at FETC Includes Digital Books

Technology at FETC Includes Digital Books

The E in FETC, the education conference held in January in Miami Beach, stands for education, and the more than 400 FETC exhibitors included companies that believe one way to enhance education is to provide students with a wide variety of reading choices.

Brian Potash, head of school growth for OverDrive Education said the way to engage students with reading is to provide an avalanche of choices, along with tools to engage students with good storytelling. OverDrive’s digital reading app Sora provides free access to ebooks and audio books from 5,000 publishers, with tools that can help educators bring digital content into their classrooms and personalize learning.

Sora is now available in over 23,000 schools worldwide, a 28% increase since 2018. Schools using Sora saw student reading time nearly double through the 2018-19 school year.

A key factor contributing to the increase is the option for students to add access to their local public library’s digital collection, expanding their selection of age- and grade-appropriate popular ebooks and audiobooks. Students who added public library access in Sora increased the number of books read by nearly 50%, Potash said.

Glose founder and CEO Nicolas Princen said that Glose offers an ebook reader that turns reading into social experience. The five-year old company was created to help a generation of students who spend the day connected to technology become better readers who are more engaged with the reading they do.

Princen said that as with a social network, teachers invite students into the reading environment they have created. Schools or students can purchase the books and read on computer, tablet or smartphone on or offline. Additionally, digitized public domain content provides a wealth of free choices.

More than 1 million books are available across literature, science, history and other areas. The books can be uploaded to a private library and can have reading group created around them, with members sharing notes and conversation. A teacher can add a question, an image or a video to prompt a conversation about the text.

For additional information about reading in U.S. schools, check out Simba Information’s  K-12 Reading Market Survey Report 2020, published in January 2020. For more information or to purchase the report, call 888-297-4622 or e-mail customerservice@simbainformation.com.