AEA11 has provided ebooks for elementary students for a while--BookFLIX for three years and TrueFLIX since October 2011. There is now a starter ebook collection of nonfiction titles for middle/junior high and high school students.
These ebooks are available 24x7. They are always available for any number of users. No special ereader is required. Any portable device or computer with Internet access can be used. The goal is to provide excellent content and student-friendly content in an equitable manner. Schools that have 1 to 1 computer access will be particularly pleased with the learning opportunities now available.
Go to the Mackin VIA portal, http://www.mackin.com/via. Middle/junior high and high school students and teachers will use the online database username and password assigned to their school. This starter collection will be expanded shortly to include elementary titles.
The Iowa Core middle school social studies standards were reviewed and ebook titles were selected on that basis. The high school collection was based on teacher librarian recommendations such as biographies, government, financial literacy, science, and social studies. The original print book had to have one or more positive reviews
HOW TO USE
Teacher and student guides are at http://www.aea11.k12.ia.us/medianet/library.html.
Students can add books to a personal backpack.
Middle/junior highs: Search by keyword, title, author, subject, series, number of pages, publication date, Accelerated Reader, or Reading Counts.
High schools: Search by keyword, title, author, subject, series, number of pages, or publication date.
Teachers will also be able to create "groups" of ebooks for students to use (with an administrator password).
The ebooks will vary in layout and features as it depends on what the publisher allows. Some ebooks will allow for printing, some highlighting, some note taking, etc. Some ebooks will provide a hyperlink to a specific page--imagine the possibilities when you can link content to a class wiki.
Use ebooks to:
Introduce new topics
Build background knowledge
Expand upon lessons
Review essential skills and information
Practice research skills to find relevant information
Supplement classroom materials:
Organize titles by topics, theme, and reading level.
Assign titles for reading or research.
Teach books in small group and whole group lessons.
Students use mark-up tools to identify words (glossary).
Teach nonfiction book characteristics such as table of contents, glossary, index.
Practice repetition and choral reading of properly pronounced words and phrases.
Teach content-area vocabulary with definitions and glossary.
Extend learning by inviting family involvement.
Use on a whiteboard.
Customize VIA with special groups such as grade, class, subject, reading group, etc.
Start an inquiry-based lesson for students looking for info to support an argument or a position.
Use for research and independent reading.
Elementary ebooks will be added this spring.
Approximately 150 American, British, and World lit classics will be added from Project Gutenberg this spring.
The ebooks titles are also loaded in Com Cat, http://comat-agent.auto-graphics.com. You can enter ebook in the title field.