Sora helps give K-12 students more access to ebooks, audiobooks and school’s digital collection

App of the Week

The Sora student reading app is a state-of-the-art reading experience that allows K-12 students to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from their school’s digital collection. Available on smartphones, tablets and desktops, students can read for pleasure and complete assigned reading anytime, anywhere. With the goal of making reading easier and more enjoyable, Sora offers interactive and customizable features such as bookmarks, definitions, exportable notes and highlights, synced progress and corresponding badges and achievements.

The most groundbreaking Sora feature is the ability to connect students with their local public library (US and Canada). This expands access to even more age-appropriate digital reading materials, including popular titles that may not be available through the school.

Convenient for teachers’ lesson plans, Sora is adaptable for all classrooms and every student. Schools can choose which ebooks, audiobooks and Read-Alongs (professionally narrated ebooks) to offer their students. Through reading statistics, students can keep track of how many ebooks they’ve read, their total reading time and more, helping teachers further understand students’ reading levels and progress. Sora’s personalized reading settings allow users to adjust the font type (including dyslexic font), font size and lighting to best fit their needs.

 

 

Formats/platforms used:

Users can access Sora for free at https://soraapp.com or download the app for free through Apple App Store and Google Play, and on Chromebooks™ that support the Google Play Store. Sora is available via desktop, smartphones and tablets.

 

Primary website:

https://meet.soraapp.com/

 

Problem solved:

Sora provides students K-12 access to popular and educational ebooks and audiobooks to download for offline use. It also creates a fun and interactive environment for children to explore new subjects and titles to encourage them to develop a love for reading.

 

Primary user age:

Students K-12, ages 5-18

 

Other services:

In addition to their school or district’s digital collection, Sora allows students to browse, search and borrow age-appropriate ebooks and audiobooks from their local public library.

Sora also provides tools designed for students with reading disabilities, including a dyslexic font setting.

Educators can access professional development ebooks and audiobooks in a variety of subjects through Sora.

Schools may select titles from OverDrive Education’s industry-leading catalog. Popular fiction and non-fiction as well as reference materials, study guides and language learning are available.

 

Pricing model:

Sora can be downloaded for free by all students and teachers. If their school or district is an OverDrive partner, they can then use Sora to access their school's digital collection and also connect with the local public library's digital collection.

 

What makes Sora unique?

Sora is a proven way to help students read more. Student time spent reading ebooks and audiobooks has nearly doubled in schools since Sora was introduced to K-12 schools in September 2018. In addition, ebook and audiobook reading increased over 240 percent when students connected Sora to their local public library versus solely accessing their school collection.

Sora is specifically designed around the modern reading experience, empowering students and educators with access to the most extensive catalog of ebooks and audiobooks available to schools. Available both on and offline, Sora makes it easy and convenient to read, providing students 24/7 access to the titles they want and the personalized support they need.

 

Characteristics:

Sora was designed to streamline and simplify the reading experience with one tap between the school’s digital collection, the student’s shelf and the book they’re reading.

Search Local Public Libraries - Browse, search and borrow books from your local public library

Fixed-Layout Support - Comic books, graphic novels, picture books and textbooks as they’re designed to be read.

Reading Settings for Everyone - Adjust the font type (including dyslexic font), font size and lighting in most books

Read-Alongs - Select titles have professional narration so you can follow along with the text

Synced Progress - Students’ place, bookmarks, notes and highlights sync between devices, so you can pick up right where they left off

Notes and Highlights- Notes and highlights can be seen at any time in the app, or exported to PDF, CSV, Google Drive and more

 

User feedback:

“Our students, teachers, and librarians have been very pleased with the ease-of-use and student-friendly features in the Sora app. Some of the younger students race each other to earn badges within the app and I have had numerous requests for more Read-Along titles.”

-- Robin Ward Stout, Media Services & Emerging Technologies Administrator at Lewisville ISD (TX)

“We are very excited to give students immediate access to literature through their phones and devices. Now students will be able to check out books the moment they need to. Also, by using the new Sora app, students will learn how they can access the public library offerings as well as our school's which is great preparation for lifelong use of the public library.”

-- Stuart Levy, Teacher-Librarian at Parkrose High School (OR)

“I was hesitant to use technology because of the temptation to visit unrelated websites but I allow students to use their laptops during silent reading time and – guess what? They are reading! The students love the variety of book titles and the convenience of accessing on their phone or laptop so if they’re waiting in line or for their ride after school, they can read. They don’t always have a book, but they will have a phone!”

-- Ellen Schreier, English teacher at Sweetwater High School (CA)

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