Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Technology Tuesday#3- eBooks anyone??

Today I spent the day in two different PD session. The one this afternoon was a complete waste of time ..it was on Web 2.0 tools, and not to sound arrogant, but I knew how to use (and am using) all the tools the presented discussed.

However, this morning's session was worth getting out of bed for, even if I had to drive to a school downtown in rush hour traffic and didn't get my leisurely 2-3 cups of morning coffee on the patio with my dogs!  The session was on eBooks. And it was great!!

The presenter is a media specialist at one of our elementary schools and is very up on technology.  She shared some great resources for finding eBooks...especially free ones.  I am going to highlight  a few of the resources she shared with us in today's session.  I will also talk a little bit about the different platforms you can use in the classroom with eBooks.

If you are like me, you have the hardware (iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc), but you are not sure how to use it in the classroom. Where do you get the books? How do you share them among multiple readers? What happens if the technology fails?

Let me first share some of the resources for finding free eBooks. We all know how to go to Amazon and Barnes and Noble and download the ones they offer, but that costs money and we all know that teachers do not have an unlimited supply of that! These sites are great for finding books online that do not need to be downloaded. So if you do not have an iPad, Kindle or Nook, no worries....

1. The Rosetta Project: This site is full of classic children's  books (including picture books) . The site is the work of an all-volunteer group who have tirelessly scanned classic children's books. It even contains books form other countries that have been translated into English form the native language of the country where they were written.  You will find books like Alice in Wonderland, Heidi and Gulliver's Travels.

2. The International Children's Digital Library: This site has books from all over the world. These are more recently published books than what you would find at The Rosetta Project site.  The site if indexed and fully searchable by title, country, etc. What a great resource for finding books to introduce your students to great books from around the world.

3. Storyline Online: This site is a project of the Screen Actor Guild and offers videos of  popular books, read aloud by actors/actresses and celebrities such as "Brave Irene" read by former VP Al Gore and "Harry The Dirty Dog" read by Betty White. My favorite is "My Rotten Red Headed Step Brother" read by Melissa Gilbert. There are activities and even discussion questions to go along with each book. I have used this site in my classroom for the book "White Socks Only" when we talk about segregation and civil rights in Social Studies.

4. We Give Books: This site is great because not only does it give your students access to great books, it is philanthropic as well. The site will donate books to different charities for each book read online. To date, over a million books have been donated. I love that this site has both fiction and non-fiction books!
5. Overdrive:  The next site I am sharing is the database most public and school libraries are using to share eBooks. It is called Overdrive and our school district has thousands of audio and ebooks available for download This is the source I am currently using and will continue to sue most to get access to books. You can search for libraries and bookstores that use Overdrive HERE.

6. Finally, there is Storia. This is the new eReading app from Scholastic.  Click HERE to go to the Storia site. You download the free app to your computer or iPad and use it to purchase and read books offered by Scholastic. You even get 5 free books when you download. The thing I really like about Storia is you create bookshelves, and can have up to 10 bookshelves. This will help you assign specific books that match a students reading level and interest to them directly.

So despite the fact that I came away with lots of resources, I was not satisfied. I wanted to see what there was out there in Pinterest with regard to eBooks. Here are just a few of the things I found pinned---

1. TumbleBookCloud- is an online collection of read-along titles for elementary, middle school, and high school students which features adjustable online text and complete audio narration. Sentences are highlighted as they are being read and the pages turn automatically.

2. A Pixel of Ink- Young Edition is a site that tracks and announces free and bargain Kindle books. You can search by age range: 0-3, 4-8, 9-12 and Young Adult.  You can subscribe to the site, and get an email when new free books (or bargain books) are posted. There is even a feature that lets you check to make sure the book is still free. I was able to download two free books tonight for my Kindle for ages 9-12. They are ready for my son when he returns from camp this weekend.

Well. I think that is it for today...gotta go read some of the new eBooks I downloaded!! Happy eReading!!

1 comment:

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