By Stuart J. Pearlman, TSB Staff
McKinney ISD students had their latest opportunity to exercise some of their newest technological resources on Friday. Kids from Burks Elementary School and Faubion Middle School were at the Ron Poe Stadium parking lot to visit the Digital Bookmobile. It was the kick off to MISD’s Overdrive digital library.
During the 2009-10 school year, MISD received grant funding relative to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Based on the demographics at that time, these funds were combined with other bond monies to purchase 1,900 iPod Touches for use in the Title 1 elementary schools. Currently every third, fourth and fifth grade student from Burks ES, (as well as the six other MISD Title 1 schools), have been issued those iPod touches during the school year.
The visit to the Digital Bookmobile was intended to help the students better understand the practical ability via Overdrive to download books directly to the technology. While the Burks kids have the iPod Touch devices, Faubion students can use their own devices or check out one of the 100 iPads the district has made available to access Overdrive to supplement the library books while that school’s library is under construction.
As part of this event, the Faubion students are also eligible to win one of 10 iPod Touches.
“The Overdrive program is available to every single child in MISD, every parent in MISD, anyone who works for MISD,” said Lara Lindsey MISD Director of Instructional Technology & Library Services. “Digital library books are relatively new for our secondary schools but this is the first time we have leveraged the program for the elementary level.”
While Lindsey is very excited about this program, she does not anticipate digital will completely replace the school library, as we have always known it. “I still think there is definite value to a tangible book,” she said. “I think especially at our early childhood schools, tactile is important to those kids.”
About The Digital Bookmobile
The Digital Bookmobile is a community outreach vehicle for public libraries to promote downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video. Developed inside a 74-foot, 18-wheel tractor-trailer, the nationally touring vehicle is a high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile that has served communities for decades.
The Digital Bookmobile creates an engaging download experience around the host library’s digital media collection and ‘Virtual Branch’ download website. The vehicle is equipped with broadband Internet-connected PCs, high-definition monitors, premium sound systems, and a variety of portable media players. Interactive computer stations give visitors an opportunity to search the digital media collection, use supported mobile devices, and sample eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video from the library.
The Digital Bookmobile is hosted by individual public libraries in support of their download services and is operated by OverDrive, Inc. To see if your public library offers download books and more, visit the Digital Media Locator. (Note: In addition to MISD, the McKinney Public Library does support OverDrive services.)
For additional information go to http://www.digitalbookmobile.com/.