OverDrive’s Sora app will be no stranger to regular readers here at TNPS. Back in August we reported the reading app had seen 5.5 million checkouts in its first year, with reading time doubling in six months. Today the app is being used in 23,000 schools worldwide.
Now Rakuten OverDrive has announced that, already having made TIME’s Top 100 list of best inventions in the education sector, the Sora app has taken the 2019 Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award in the mobile app category.
You can see OverDrive’s excited take on the win over at the OverDrive site (if you can withstand the exclamation marks) but here to take a look at what Academic’s Choice had to say:
The Sora student reading app is a state-of-the-art reading experience that allows K-12 students to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from their school’s digital collection. Available on smartphones, tablets and desktops, students can read for pleasure and complete assigned reading anytime, anywhere.
Sora is a tool proven to help students read more. Student time spent reading ebooks and audiobooks nearly doubled in schools since Sora’s introduction to K-12 schools in September 2018. Also, during OverDrive’s Summer Read program, thousands of schools and 40,000 students worldwide read one of 30 titles during the summer months. An additional 200,000 students read a non-Summer Read title from their school’s digital collection, showing how Sora’s 24/7 access to ebooks and audiobooks encouraged students to read throughout their summer break.
Schools must become part of the OverDrive Education platform to provide access to Sora. More than 20,000 schools around the world have joined, with hundreds more each month. Sora is the sister app to Libby, the award-winning app available from 90% of public libraries in North America.
Sora’s most goundbreaking feature is the ability to connect students with their local public library (US and Canada), encouraging students to read more than ever. This feature expands access to even more age-appropriate digital reading materials, including popular titles that may not be available through the school. As a result, ebook and audiobook reading increased over 240% when students connected Sora to their local public library versus solely accessing their school collection.
More TNPS coverage of the Sora app and Rakuten OverDrive libraries: