Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘smartphones

Books can be heavy, notes get lost and eyes get tired. On all these issues, ebooks can help. Reading a book on a screen may not have the same satisfaction as holding a physical copy.  Yet there are benefits to having access to books stored in the “cloud“.

Differences between ebooks and reading apps

What makes a reading app an app rather than an ebook? There aren’t many differences between reading apps and ebooks. For those who are curious about such things, one distinction is that ebooks tend to be downloadable and have copies exist in physical form, whereas reading apps are more likely to be ‘born digital’, that is, having no physical manifestation (at least to begin with). Reading apps and ebooks these days might mix text with interaction and features of other media such as video, audio and games.

Benefits of ebooks and reading apps

  • not needing to carry a book around,
  • having a choice of things to read between,
  • being able to read without hands with the help of a screenreader such as the freebie Natural Reader or VoiceOver on Macs,
  • have your device record how much you’ve read.

We have two ebook platforms available through the catalogue for subjects including maths, social sciences and English.

If you are after fiction you may want other apps on your smartphone for easy access.

3 Free Reading apps

There are a number of reading apps to add to your phone for free, much of the content is free too. It depends on how you like your reading experience but it’s always good to have a book available on your smartphone if you’ve got one.

Perhaps try The Pigeonhole which releases ebooks in installments so it’s more digestible for on-the-go reading.

There is also the Kindle reading app so you can get all the out-of-copyright ebooks downloaded on your phone or tablet or desktop.

I’ve also heard of the app Hooked which present stories as a chat conversation.

Like, you know, super spooky.

Don’t forget your public library will have ebooks available to borrow.

Let us know what reading apps you’ve heard of or would like to try out. What combo of apps vs print works for you?

 

 

Quick Reads on DawsoneraLast week we added some Quick Reads onto our Dawsonera ebook platform. We love Quick Reads as not only do they suit our students from entry level 3 but we also find them a relaxing easy read as well. Plus we promote them as part of the Reading Ahead scheme we run annually at our college to boost reading and literacy.

Up until now Quick Reads have only been available to us as Kindle editions. Take for instance Lucy Diamond’s A Baby at the Beach Cafe which we gave away at our World Book Night 2016 event. The snag with that for our learners is we currently only let our learners use the Kindles in the classroom. So if they want to read an ebook at home they then need to turn to our ebrary or Dawsonera ebook platform platforms. These platforms mainly offer academic text books which don’t suit our learners doing entry level 3 – level 1 courses.

Now that we can start offering Quick Reads as ebooks this will benefit students on our literacy, dyslexia and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses who can access these on or offsite on laptops or PCs or even download them to smartphones and tablets. Because we have Single Sign On (SSO) students can get straight to the ebook either through logging onto the network and either going through the catalogue record or the VLE Eresources Dawsonera link.

The three we’ve bought this week are:

We Won the Lottery by Danny Buckland

Black-eyed Devils by Catrin Collier

Trouble on the Heath by  Terry Jones.

If you are not a Hillcroft student you will find Quick Reads to borrow in most UK public libraries.

 

 

Someone using a smartphoneOne of our ebooks suppliers Dawsonera has launched a new app for the iPhone and Android. This is good news for our Access to Higher Education, Pre-Access, Women into Management (WiM), Start Your Own Enterprise and Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) students.

This means that ebooks are even more mobile and our students can read them easily off site and when they are travelling. We know from sifting through our student feedback forms that students have been using ebooks on their laptops on the train so this app launch will make it even easier for them.

Follow the Dawsonera guide to Downloading  ebooks to an Android Device or Downloading ebooks onto an Apple iOS Device.

Find out how great ebooks are by watching our new Don’t Scruff the Books Use Ebooks animation on GoAnimate.


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