As a librarian, you have probably heard of Sora. As the app “Overdrive” has become popular with adults for e-book borrowing and reading, it’s little sibling Sora has become a focus for ebooks in K-12 education. This app works on pretty much anything with an internet connection, and can even sync your reading progress from one device to another with ease! No more worries if your students/teachers use one device at school and a different one at home! If you or your colleagues are on the fence about trying out Sora, these Sora Tips for Students and Teachers will give you/them some confidence!
Explore ebooks, audio books, and more
Let’s start with the whole reason for Sora, READING! Whether your teachers and students are looking for e-books, audio books, comic books, or something completely different, you are in the right place! As soon as you log in, you are in the “Explore” tab of Sora.
Just look at all those options! You can search and explore. There is literally something for everyone! If you want to make sure your students are accessing developmentally appropriate material, you can have them use the “Preferences” option on the “Explore” tab. They can easily change the “Audience” option to “Juvenile” and away they go!
Borrow from school or other local public libraries
Not only will students and teachers have access to their school library, but they could add collections from local public libraries as well! From any Sora page, simply click on the three lines in the top right corner, and click on “Add Library”.
Once you have added your libraries and found a book, how do you know you can check it out? Tap on the book to open it, then look for the word “Borrow”.
Some books may not be available to check out immediately, so you may have to click on “Place Hold” instead of “Borrow”. It is so hard to be patient, so be sure to check out the timeline estimation below the image of the book – just so you know when you can start getting excited about your new read!
Help teachers and students use all the features
One of the things teachers love about Sora is the ability to not only bookmark your spot and keep reading on any device, but users can also define words, highlight, and make notes from within the book itself. Add in the ability for teachers to send assignments to students, and you have a pretty powerful tool!
Once you open a book, look to the upper right-hand corner for different options while you’re reading. Zoom in or out, look at one page or two, create a bookmark to save your place, or look at the table of contents to find a different chapter. It’s obvious a librarian was consulted to build this handy little app!
From inside an ebook, users can also click or tap and hold on a word to highlight it, then drag to highlight multiple words. Once they word(s) are highlighted, the user has several options:
If the user clicks on “Define”, a small window will pop up to the right of the screen, explaining the highlighted words. Clicking on “Highlight” will allow the user to highlight in one of three colors, and possibly make a note about the text. Lastly, the “Search” feature looks for the same word or phrase through the rest of the book.
More Sora tips for students and teachers
We haven’t even touched on all the other awesome things about Sora! The “Explore” tab is only one of the four tabs available to users. “Home”, “Shelf” and “Me” provide access to different parts of the app.
Plus, did you know users can earn badges just for using the app? They can collect awards for reading, borrowing books, and so much else! How cool are these?
Users can see all their achievements by clicking on the “Me” tab at the bottom of the screen. I know more than a few students who will be wanting as many of these as possible!
Sora has been such a wonderful addition in my library classroom, and I hope you and your students and teachers feel the same way! What other Sora Tips for Students and Teachers do you have? Share below and help us all learn how to make even better use of this amazing tool!