Thursday, March 01, 2007

Audiobooks in Education

Today's Multimedia meeting began with a discussion around the use of audiobooks and mp3 players. Discussion centered around services and equipment that are available. Services such as, Overdrive(as used by the New York Public Library), and self-playing digital audiobooks.

Glen H. brought up an interesting point in that public libraries provide these types of services for one patron while the school library model is designed to serve teachers and their classrooms. This raises the question of what model of audiobook circulation is best for our schools? Do libraries make it available for just one student, where it may remain on their desktop or mobile device for 3 weeks? This poses a licensing problem where these expensive books would have a very limited access unless schools purchase a large number of the audiobook.

Tadge brought up the point that there is the iTunesU model and where iTunes thinking is with providing a service with K-12 education. BOCES Multimedia and ITS researched this model last year and was told that iTunes, at that time, was not interested in working with K-12 and that we should seek a partnership with a local college/university.

The discussion moved to how providing a variety of formats for books (i.e. - CD, Playaway, mp3 download) would benefit the available technology within classrooms as well as the readiness of a teacher to work with the technology. There was interest in trying to learn more about how audiobooks are or are not being used in classrooms presently. So where are we?


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