Previously, I've concentrated on digital texts and eBooks for students but this month I want to focus on educators. Though our Instruction Support Services division, we provide a large collection of professional eBooks for all the teachers and administrators in our region. Continual learning and professional growth is pivotal for successful educators and providing a collection of the most current educational titles from experts in the field that can be used for book studies, personalized professional learning, and to support district initiatives is vital.
Over the last several years we have purchased the entire eBooks collections from several publishers. We are finding that the ability to purchase multi-user, simultaneous use eBooks for professional learning has been both fiscally responsible and decidedly more effective in providing teachers and administrators the resources they need to focus on specific initiatives, such as standards-based grading, professional learning communities, classroom management, and innovation. Teachers can access the collections anywhere, at any time, and on any device.
When we purchase the eBooks we give them specific classification labels (Diversity, Assessment, Differentiation, Leadership, Motivation, RtI, etc.) to ensure that both teachers and administrators can easily search for and locate what they need. Emailing a chapter or a URL for a specific topic within one of the eBooks allows our lead evaluators and instructional coaches to support struggling teachers. We are also able to run book studies focused on specific initiatives and have educators from across several school districts participate so that they may learn with and from each other.
I can't even begin to tell you how many of these books I have personally "read" over the last couple of years by listening to them as I travel. The collections have also allowed me to send relevant sections to our school librarians when they are looking for strategies to support teaching and learning in their buildings. I have even created several digital folders where I add articles and chapters that support areas of professional learning for my own practice and that I can share with my supervisor or a struggling team member. The capabilities to connect and learn together are limitless with a digital collection.
As an added bonus, I have reduced our footprint within our building by not having to house a print professional collection, and we don't have to spend time sending out titles and then chasing down teachers to get them back. We highlight the titles in our digital newsletters and our educators can simply click on the title and access the book immediately. We can't meet the needs of our educators any more simply than that!