In this mobile age, technology has become increasingly valuable in supporting new generations of lifelong learners and readers. Now, Southern Westchester BOCES is using technology to expand access to digital reading materials by connecting its students with the school’s broad collection of e-books and audiobooks through the Sora app. As an extension of the physical classroom, and a resource to prevent learning loss and regression, Sora is being utilized to support curricular needs for all age ranges and abilities Students can also connect seamlessly with Westchester Library System’s digital collection within Sora to provide access to even more age-appropriate digital books. The combination of convenience, ease of reading on-the-go, and personalized reading experience of both teacher-assigned and student-selected digital books inspires student learning anytime, anywhere.
Southern Westchester BOCES announced that they have significantly increased library connection through Sora to support students and teachers in 49 schools, despite campuses being closed due to COVID-19. As Eleanor Friedman, supervisor of the School Library System at Southern Westchester BOCES, says, “We remain steadfast in our commitment to building capacity in school libraries while students are learning from home. Our partnership with OverDrive Education, the creator of Sora, has allowed our school libraries to continue providing service and access to materials for our students, which is our utmost priority.
“As a result of our partnership with Westchester Library System through the Sora app, Southern Westchester BOCES students have more robust access to reading opportunities. Additionally, students will have access to over 30 free and simultaneous read titles until July 31 in the Sora Sweet Reads summer reading promotion to keep students reading throughout the summer. The potential for reading and developing literacy skills continues to grow in the distance learning experience.”
Sora, named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019, was designed to transform the modern student reading experience and built by OverDrive Education, a division of OverDrive serving 23,000 K-12 schools worldwide. OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for a growing network of 45,000 libraries – including Westchester Library System– and schools in 78 countries.
The Sora app is available for Southern Westchester BOCES students, faculty and staff to download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Stor, and on Chromebooks that support the Google Play Store. It is also available for use in web browsers at https://soraapp.com. For more, visit https://meet.soraapp.com/.
– edited by Georgette Gouveia