Audiobooks are easy now. They are easy to listen to: just pull up an app on your phone or tablet, choose your book, and press play. They are easy to get: you can buy one with the a few clicks from an online store. Or, if you don’t want the commitment of full ownership, you can borrow one from the library. Using my phone, I can check out an audiobook from the library and download it in just a few minutes. There, I timed it. It took me exactly 7 minutes and 14 seconds to click on an app, browse my library’s catalogue, and download a David Leviathan book. And I was being choosy. I didn’t just select the first book I saw. I actually want to read this book.
We are basically living in a sci fi wonderland for book lovers. If my childhood self could have seen this future while she was carrying around a small briefcase of cassette tapes, listening to a book on her bright yellow Walkman, she would have wept actual tears of joy.
The real digital age of publishing is now upon us—and it does not feature grey-bricked Orwellian libraries, a sea of computer screens, robotic librarians and not a book in sight. Today’s publishing world is full of incredible options for consumer to ingest content, and no option seems primed to eclipse any other for market share. Yes, it appears print books are here to stay, but so are eBooks and all things digital (perhaps most notably audio, the fastest growing segment in all of publishing).
Consumers are more knowledgeable regarding eBooks than ever before, the hardware is more accessible, and distribution is as varied and robust as ever. Further, indie publishers are finding more and more success digitally, with many foregoing print altogether. So, why have eBooks not been adopted widely in K-12 schools?
While some of this has to do with hardware availability, school purchasing limitations, and general infrastructure issues, there are a few issues with educational publisher behavior that have contributed to eBooks being adopted far less in schools than in the consumer market.
OverDrive’s browser-based eReader supports narrated eBooks, allowing readers to listen to audio while they read eBooks on virtually any internet-enabled device. This exciting feature is perfect for helping striving readers, ESL, and ELL students.
Basic features include:
· Text highlighting as a narrator reads
· Availability on any device with an internet connection and a modern web browser
· Automatic page turning
· Rewind and pause options
· Volume and speed control
Check it out here.