Thursday, January 5, 2017

Digital Reading Options

In the four years that I've been teaching in a school with 1-1 devices, I've continued to investigate options for sites and apps that will allow my kids to read books digitally. My school uses Destiny e-reader, but kids didn't seem to be using it very often. This year, we've discovered two new options that have become wildly popular with my 4th graders!

The first option is the free site Epic Reads. There is an option to pay for access to the site, but I signed up as a teacher and was able to add all of my kids to my account. I love that it features REAL books and gives kids the option to read it themselves or read with their ears. It has a good mix of both fiction and nonfiction, as well as mixed formats (picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, audio books.)
Binky the Space Cat is even offered on Epic Reads!
From My 4th Graders...
I like the options of books on Epic! On Epic, you can see the books you've read and you can read them again if you want. There's long books and short books. - Sienna
I like Epic better and the variety of books. I don't like, on MyOn, how you have to take a quiz and remember every last detail about the book. - Max
I don't really like either one, but if I had to pick, I'd pick Epic. It has shorter books and longer books! - Ella

The second option is MyOn. My district paid for this one, so it is available on all student devices (Chromebooks.) Just like Epic, it offers a good variety of genres, formats, and possibilities. Again, this site provides access to REAL books. Actually, we've added books to our classroom library based on what they've read on MyOn. Three of the most popular finds have been the Spine Shivers series (great for Goosebumps fans!), Mighty Mighty Monsters graphic novels, and Sports Illustrated Kids graphic novels.

My 4th graders love the Sports Illustrated Kids graphic novels!

From my 4th Graders...
It is easy to search for books. It keeps track of how many minutes and hours you've read each week. -Gianna
There's a lot of choices! I like to listen to the books. There's better books than on Epic! - Eric

One word of caution. There is an option for kids to take a quiz on the books they've read. This does not fit with my philosophy of free choice reading and discussions as a means of determining comprehension. Right from the beginning, we figured out how to ignore the request to take a quiz. However, some of my kids find this "fun" and choose to take the quizzes occasionally.

I'm excited that we've found a couple of digital reading options that are engaging and appeal to middle grade readers! What's even better, in my opinion, is that the sites feature real titles from real books, rather than books that are made specifically to be placed onto a site. Which sites are your favorites?

No comments:

Post a Comment