Friday, January 24, 2014

Digital texts through OverDrive

Hey CPS teachers! There's another new resource available to you and your students. Remember the post I wrote last year about OverDrive? Probably not. But if so, that same resource is now available for Columbia Public Schools teachers and students. Here's what you should know. 

Digital texts have been purchased to get the process started. The collection currently has about 550 titles of audio and eBooks, but expect it to grow as more of our libraries allocate money to digital texts. This process is much like the process through the public library but easier. Students log in to the account through the Columbia Public Schools Digital Library. Check with your media specialist to learn the student username and password, you know, for security reasons. Once inside, there are lots of ways to search for appropriate materials.

On your dashboard, you'll see options for subjects, collections, and levels. "Subjects" are sorted into categories such as biography, mystery, science fiction, and literature. "Collections" offer breakdowns by elementary and middle school. And "levels" offers you searchability by ATOS (not sure what that is), Lexile Measure, or Reading Level. Most of the selections at this time are geared towards middle and high school students. But there are some great elementary reads from authors such as Rick Riordan and Carl Hiaasen.

When you find a title you'd like to read, you have a few options for checkout. You can download the book as a Kindle eBook or as an ePUB. For either option, you need to have either an Adobe or Kindle account to read the book in those apps. If you don't have one of those accounts, or if this is for a child, you can also read the book in your browser. It can be read online, or you can download the book so it can be read offline. Pretty slick. 

If you have any other questions, ask your friendly local media specialist. And most of the checkouts are for 14 days, so get reading. 

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