Before you start - a librarian's note:
Epic Books is a wonderful educational resource that has the following benefits for education:
- The nonfiction books are generally up to date and well illustrated / designed
- You can project books during lessons from your laptop (less visually appealing) or an iPad (the app is more appealing)
- Students can access the books DURING SCHOOL HOURS i.e. 8am - 5pm during the week
- Epic allows for multiple simultaneous access - i.e. no more fighting over that ONE special resource.
- Your librarian can create collections of books geared to your units and share them with you
- You can copy the collections and add your own books or create your own collections and share them with your team
- You can assign books to individual students and groups of students.
- Some books are available as an audiobook or text-to-speech book - great for EAL students
- There are collections in Chinese, Spanish and French too.
The downside / small print:
- The books are only available 8am - 5pm so unless the student's family is prepared to subscribe to Epic! (at a fairly reasonable rate of U$5 7.99 per month, you should not use them for out-of school hours assignments)
- Students get rewarded for reading - this means that some students chase after the prize and don't actually read, but just skim through the book at the right pace in order to collect their goodies (avatar stuff etc) at the end.
- The search function is pretty mediocre - you may need your librarian friend to help you make collections if you get frustrated...
- Their business model is that wealthy parents pay to keep the educational use free of charge. If you don't want angry parents, please don't put their emails into the optional parent email box. It's generally suggested that you first discuss with parents who would want this subscription and only then to add the email so they get the payment notice and the student account is linked to the family account).