Digital Bookmobile

As part of the National Digital Bookmobile tour, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School will be hosting Overdrive’s bookmobile.

Visit us in the Upper School Parking lot, corner of Manatee Ave and 39th Street West, in Bradenton, FLA to tour the Overdrive Digital Bookmobile on Thursday November 15th. Classes will tour from noon -3pm, open to the public from 3pm-6pm. Ask eBook download questions. Visit the Gadget Gallery to learn about how easy your electronic tablet can hook up to this free service.

Look for the 74 foot transport ….. Not your Grandmother’s bookmobile of yester year……74 feet of awesomeness…….

Library services to help your child

With a new school year freshly begun, I would like to highlight a few services Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School offer our Falcon community. Please do not hesitate to ask me (or email me for help or clarification.

1. Our Library Catalog

Do you know what what books we own? Do you want to know which books your child has signed out? Our library catalog is available 24 / 7 at . By using your child’s library barcode number, you can create an account, allowing you access to the catalog. Children in grades 3 through 6 have their library barcode attached to their study buddy, inside cover. Informally, children use their AR password as the library account password as well.

The home page of the library catalog will also offer a list of links to various subscription databases to help your child with their research.

2. Accelerated Reader

Parents can help their child be a better reader by helping them locate books via and identifying their book’s reading level. Also, parents may see their child’s reading progress by using Home Connect. Again, parents will need their child’ AR username and password to access their accounts. Children in grades 3-6 have the written their AR username and passwords in their study buddies on their birthdays/ or half birthdays.  Children in grade 1 and 2 will have this info sent home by the end of September. Please note that AR tests can be taken from anywhere on campus. Please feel free to contact Mrs. Potwin of account information.

3. Ebooks/ Audio books

We are very fortunate to be able to offer ebooks and audio books in a digital download format, free of charge. Overdrive will allow families to download children’s books to their home computers, or their mobile device ( Kindle, Ipad, ipod, tablet etc.) Children are permitted to bring their device to school during free read time, providing parental approval is given. The Overdrive system will ask for your child’s library barcode. This can be found on the inside front cover of the student’s study buddy ( grade 3-6). Children in grade 2 will have this info sent home by the end of September. Children in grades 7 and 8 will receive this info on an Overdrive instructional bookmark by the end of September.

As always, please contact Mrs. Potwin with any questions you might have. Helping your children be the best student they can be is my goal.

No Difference Between Kids’ Comprehension of Ebooks, Print Books, Study Says

Below is a reposted article, sponsored by Renaissance Learning, an automation company which profits are generated by student reading scores across the country, thus their business interest is boosted by the results of this study. As well, the variables of images /diagrams / picture books was not  factored into the results. While an interesting study,  one needs to take it with a grain of salt.

There’s no real difference between ebooks and traditional paper books when it comes to kids’ reading comprehension, says a new study.

kindlestudy(Original Import)Student Comprehension of Books in Kindle and Traditional Formats” by Michael Milone, a research psychologist and educational writer at Renaissance Learning, asked students in two fourth-grade classes located in the Upper Midwest to read up to six books from a selected list of a dozen popular fiction titles that included Eleanor Estes’s Ginger Pye (Harcourt, 1951), Gary Paulsen’s Lawn Boy (Random, 2007), Mary Pope Osborne’s Sunset of the Sabertooth (Random, 1996), and Megan McDonald’s Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid (Candlewick, 2005). The 31 students—who read a total of 135 books, 69 on the Kindle and 66 in print—were asked to alternate between reading half of the books on the Kindle and the other half in a bound, printed format. After reading each one, they completed a brief, computer-based Accelerated Reader quiz to measure their understanding.

Milone found that there was no statistically significant difference in reading comprehension levels, with students correctly answering an average of 88 percent of questions about the books read on the Kindle, compared to 88.5 percent of questions answered correctly for print books.

“Results of the study indicate that parents and educators can rest easy knowing that students comprehend books they read digitally as well as they comprehend books read in a print format,” especially since electronic reading devices are rapidly becoming popular for both personal and educational use, the study says. Only narrative texts were used, and the results do not include informational texts or textbooks.

“As more schools and districts begin to incorporate ereaders into the curriculum, it is important to better understand how students comprehend books read digitally compared with print books,” says Glenn James, the CEO Renaissance Learning, a provider of tech-based student assessment programs for K-12 schools. “The results of this study confirm that every book read, in any format, is another step toward higher student achievement.”

Although previous research suggests no difference in reading comprehension between digital and print formats, many of those studies were conducted using animated storybooks—and none involved extensive reading for pleasure in a typical school setting.

When asked about using the Kindle, the majority (76 percent) of students said it was very easy to use. In terms of their reading comprehension, 28 percent found the Kindle much easier to understand than a printed book, 24 percent said it was a little easier, and 40 percent said it was about the same. If given a choice, 62 percent of those surveyed said they preferred to read using a Kindle rather than a book.

“The large number of books in the study and the naturalistic approach to the research—students read the books in a typical setting at school or at home—suggest that the results are dependable, and that students’ comprehension of narrative texts is the same for ereaders and print books,” the study says. “Students enjoy reading on ereaders, and the novelty effect of these devices may encourage less proficient students to read more.”

The study may help educators, especially since a growing number of individual schools and districts are incorporating ereaders like the Kindle and Nook, as well as tablet computers into the curriculum.

“This trend has not gone unnoticed by educational publishers; most are at least dabbling in adapting their texts to electronic formats,” the study adds.

Even though a relatively small number of students were used in the study, the report says its findings are dependable, “but replication and extension are clearly necessary.” The study does point out some limitations, saying that its results should not be applied to all forms of reading on digital devices. “Reading on a very small screen device, however, like a smartphone or online reading, with its links, multiple pages, and sometimes distracting graphics, pose very different comprehension challenges.”

The greatest limitation of the study is that students read narrative rather than informational texts, and “research has found that most ereaders are used for reading for pleasure, and most users are satisfied with their devices for this purpose.” When it comes to studying, traditional print books are preferred to ebooks.

Participants read the books beginning in early April 2011 after spring break, and the study concluded during the final week in May. The lists of books, in the order they were to be read, were provided to students, teachers, and librarians.

as cited from

Falcon’s Overdrive site now supports Kindle devices

OverDrive is pleased to announce that Amazon® Kindle compatibility with your Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School library’s eBook collection is here.  This update,  allows most existing eBooks in our library’s collection to be read on all Kindle devices or by using free Kindle apps for iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and other mobile devices.

Sections of your website, including My Help wizard, Help pages and FAQs, will also reflect these changes and help new Kindle users.

Here is the process for checking out a library eBook for Kindle:

  • Visit your library’s ‘Virtual Branch’ website
  • Browse and check out a Kindle book.
  • Click the ‘Get for Kindle’ button. This opens the website. You may be required to sign in with your account if you are not already logged in.
  • Select a Kindle device or Kindle reading app. Click the ‘Get library book’ button and sync your device or app to download the book, or choose to send it to your device via USB.
  • An active Wi-Fi connection is required for wireless delivery to a Kindle device.  If your Kindle is not Wi-Fi capable or you do not have an active Wi-Fi connection, read Amazon’s instructions for transferring files via USB.

Kindle compatibility with library eBooks also takes full advantage of Amazon’s Whispersync technology.  If you check out the eBook again at a later date or choose to purchase the eBook from the Kindle Store, all of your notes, bookmarks and highlights will be preserved.  The last page read will also be synced between your Kindle and free Kindle reading apps.

For more details, please check the Help pages and FAQs on your Saint Stephen’s library’s web site.

as cited

Overdrive’s 1st Anniverary at Saint Stephen’s

October 11th, 2010, our third library, an electronic digital download service called Overdrive went live at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School.  This service offers  free ebook and audio book digital downloads to our Falcons community and can be downloaded from anywhere in the world you have an Internet connection. Now Kindle compatible! Initially the service  was designed for children in grades 4-5-6.  Now,  we are branching out to grade 7 as well as grade 3.    All you need is your library barcode # ! Easy as pie. (Hint: IS students, look in your study buddy front cover).  Barcodes and instructions will be sent home  during the first week of October to all students in grades 3 through to grades 7.  Please feel free to ask for help…

Book Share—Everywhere contest!

Image of beach with Bookshare Everywhere Summer Contest written in sand

Book share is an electronic downloadable ebook service  for readers with  print disabilities.   This free service  for US students with qualifying disabilities allows  people with disabilities  the same ease of access to books and periodicals that people without disabilities enjoy.  Bookshare offers more than 70,000 digital books, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading, periodicals and assistive technology tools.

For more information , please go to   Bookshare. org

How to play Everywhere Summer Contest:

(and win an IPAD 2)

  1. Enter the contest by completing the Contest Entry Form and guess how many books will be read during the contest.
  2. From June 1 to August 19, 2011, download and read as many Bookshare books as you can.
  3. After reading a book, tell us how the book made your summer fun on the Book Entry Form (LIVE JUNE 1st).  Submit as many book entries as you want to increase your chances of winning!

Use of Kindle soon to be permitted on Overdrive

Finally, your  Kindle prayers have been answered!   Kindle will be a compatiable device with our Saint Stephen’s Overdrive system  sometime this year.

Today Amazon and OverDrive announced the Kindle Library Lending program, which will enable Kindle customers to borrow and enjoy eBooks from our library, school, and college partners in the United States. The program is scheduled for launch later this year, and will significantly increase the value of the investments that libraries have made in OverDrive-powered eBook catalogs.

Many of our partners will immediately receive inquiries about this new program, so here is a brief introduction into what can be expected when the program launches:

The Kindle Library Lending program will integrate into your existing OverDrive-powered ‘Virtual Branch’ website.

Your existing collection of downloadable eBooks will be available to Kindle customers. As you add new eBooks to your collection, those titles will also be available in Kindle format for lending to Kindle and Kindle reading apps. Your library will not need to purchase any additional units to have Kindle compatibility. This will work for your existing copies and units.

A user will be able to browse for titles on any desktop or mobile operating system, check out a title with a library card, and then select Kindle as the delivery destination. The borrowed title will then be able to be enjoyed using any Kindle device and all of Amazon’s free Kindle Reading Apps.

The Kindle eBook titles borrowed from a library will carry the same rules and policies as all our other eBooks.

The Kindle Library Lending program will support publishers’ existing lending models.

Your users’ confidential information will be protected.

The Kindle Library Lending program is only available for libraries, schools, and colleges in the United States.

We’re thrilled that our library, school, and college partners will be able to provide Kindle customers with access to eBooks from their digital collections. And we look forward to providing you with more information on the launch of the Kindle Library Lending program as it becomes available.

Karen Estrovich is manager of content sales for OverDrive. April 20th, 2011

As posted on