Public schools embrace ebooks and audiobooks to equalize access to required curriculum books and fun reads
Thanks to a statewide initiative to supply digital books to all students in Delaware, educators are embracing the use of ebooks and audiobooks in the classroom. Today, the Delaware Department of Education announced that students throughout the state have read a total of one million digital books in the Sora student reading app since the Delaware Accelerate Learning collection was first offered in 2021.
This milestone illustrates Delaware educators’ success with digital books to eliminate barriers and overcome unequal access to reading. Since its launch in 2019, the Delaware Accelerate Learning collection has served students in every school across Delaware, with evidence showing students of all ages reading year-round. Usage of the digital collection has also increased each year, including 29 percent during the 2022-23 school year (August ‘22-June ‘23) compared to the previous school year.
Top ebooks for early readers include Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea and Couch Potato, for middle grades New Kid and The Hunger Games, and for high school students One of Us is Lying and The Hate U Give. The top three titles students read for curriculum were Hidden Figures (Young Readers’ Edition), A Long Walk to Water and The Outsiders. For pleasure reading, the top three titles were Smile, Diper Overlode and Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes.
“We are committed to making the right choice, the easy choice,” Secretary of Education Mark Holodick said. “We know supporting students in becoming proficient at reading and lifelong seekers of knowledge is critical. Access to ebooks, e-magazines and audiobooks opens gateways to new worlds for our students.”
Through the Sora student reading app, 144,000 students in 221 schools in Delaware have convenient and safe access to thousands of age-appropriate ebooks, digital audiobooks, comics and magazines. Students use their school sign-in credentials to access the Department of Education collection as well as the Delaware Libraries’ collection. All materials are available for use on any device inside the classroom, at home and anywhere, 24/7.
Named one of TIME’s Best Inventions and the Excellence in Equity 2022 Best Literacy Solution, the Sora app is available for Delaware students, faculty and staff to download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and on Chromebooks that support the Google Play Store. It is also available for use in web browsers at https://soraapp.com.
To learn more, visit http://discoversora.com.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.