Middle School explores digital books

As schools seek innovative new strategies to increase reading and learning, educators are shifting curriculum to include more digital books in the classroom. Hudson Middle School creatively leveraged digital books to support its One Book, One School initiative, which allowed students and staff to have a shared reading experience with the Sora student reading app.

The chosen title for the all-school read, “Restart” by Gordon Korman, was available digitally on the Sora app and in print. Each teacher accessed a copy of the ebook on Sora and then displayed the book for all to view. Teachers then guided students through interactive activities encouraging them to look for connections to Korman’s story. Students also met the author to talk more about the novel.

“Our students were so excited to meet Gordon Korman and speak with him directly about his writing process and how he developed the story of ‘Restart,’” said Lorri Kingan, HMS library media specialist. “Many of our students and teachers are already avid Sora users so providing the ebook was a natural classroom extension. It was so powerful to see each teacher sharing this book simultaneously with students. Sora allowed us to take the shared reading experience to a new level.”

Sora was built by OverDrive Education, a division of Cleveland-based e-book supplier OverDrive. Through Sora, students have access to thousands of ebooks and digital audiobooks from school and public library collections. According to the company, Sora automatically filters content to only include age-appropriate titles depending on each student’s grade level. It also provides teachers with classroom-specific tools like personal assignments, reading analytics and exportable notes that individualize learning. ∞