While the number of schools taking advantage of OverDrive’s School Download Library increases, more and more people are learning about and discussing the benefits of technology in and through their schools.
Those who have had the opportunity to experience technology and digital books within their schools have encouraged others to follow suit. “We use technology as a tool to enhance student learning and really enhance students’ engagement in the content,” Suzanne Freeman, superintendent of Trussville City Schools in Trussville, AL, said in an eSchool News interview. “We know that technology really entices children.” In the same column, Sean McDonough, director of information technology for the Harrisburg City School District in Pennsylvania said, “Curriculum leaders need to know more about the technological systems that [can help lead to] effective instruction.” And in another eSchool News story, Beverly Keegan, administrator of the Mill Creek Elementary School library in the Central Bucks County (Pennsylvania) School Districts, summed it up: “The students are like moths to a flame when it comes to technology. Any time technology is integrated, they are more motivated.”
In addition to in-school technology, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility found that home library size has a very substantial effect on educational attainment, even adjusting for parents’ education, father’s occupational status, and other family background characteristics. Growing up in a home with 500 books would propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average, than would growing up in an otherwise similar home with few or no books. Now, with access to eBook readers and OverDrive’s School Download Library, putting hundreds of titles in the palm of students’ hands from their own homes is no longer out of reach. Students can download the educational books they need and popular titles they want onto their own mobile devices from home and take them to school or anywhere else.
The eBook movement in schools can help children enjoy reading, learn more, and ultimately graduate into the career field of their choice. “eReaders and eBooks might help reignite a love of reading among today’s tech-oriented students,” Nora Carr, APR wrote in her recent eSchool News column. And in the same study as above, the organization said: “A book-oriented home environment, we argue, endows children with tools that are directly useful in learning at school: vocabulary, information, comprehension skills, imagination, broad horizons of history and geography, familiarity with good writing, understanding of the importance of evidence in argument, and many others.”
Have you integrated technology into your school? What differences have you seen in student engagement? Let us know what you think.
Brianne Carlon is a marketing associate at OverDrive.