Building a lifelong love of reading is difficult, especially when great books are few and far in-between. It's even harder for schools and educators that have limited resources and access to great books, such as low-income schools and special education professionals. The Obamas are hoping to remove these obstacles with their new app, called Open eBooks.
The app provides $250 million worth of popular and award-winning books to Title 1, military base, and special education teachers and librarians to help provide books to their students.
The books will be free to access on smartphones and tablets to the students, educators, and administrators using an access code.
This app complements a separate program by the U.S. Department of Education to get educators and schools to use and support openly licensed educational resources (OERs). Though the app uses copyrighted materials and books, the use of the app encourages support for creating greater access to educational books and resources. For schools on tight budgets, using OERs can help bridge accessibility limitations and get more books to children. According to the New York Public Library, access to the eBooks through the app can save schools $250 million in book purchases and circulation costs.
The special app was made in collaboration with ten major book publishers who released thousands of the popular titles for use in the app, and in partnership with the Digital Public Library of America, The New York Public Library, First Book, and other digital book distributors to create the eBook library.
Overall, the app is a great way to promote literacy among all students, especially those in low-income and special education households and schools. Currently, the app is accessible on Android and iOS devices. To learn more about getting access to the app for your students, visit OpeneBooks.net.
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