Lee County schools to add e-books to the shelves

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lee County students will have access to several digital books this fall.
The school district recently purchased 85 Nooks to use for its special education students. It has also purchased several of the electronic reader devices to be used by all students.
Nooks are Barnes amp& Noble’s version of digital books. Multiple works can be downloaded and read on the screen of the electronic tablet.
The Lee County special education department spent about $18,000 to place five Nooks in each of its self-contained classrooms. Devices also will go to the district’s Belden Improvement Center and to its GED program.
Self-contained classes are those that have both regular-education and special-education students.
Those Nooks will be placed in reading centers, said Kathy Dickerson, Lee County special education director.
“We are hoping it will be an incentive-based thing for the teachers to use,” Dickerson said. “We hope the novelty of it will increase the incentive to read, especially for children with attention issues.”
Lee County’s schools have been using CDs or DVDs with headphones for special education students to listen to books in their centers, Dickerson said.
Adjusting headphones and volume can sometimes be a hassle, she said, adding that the Nooks’ ability to read texts out loud will be much more simplified.
“By pushing one button, the children can be read to,” Dickerson said. “All you need is a Nook and a table. For some children, it will be much more user friendly.”
The devices have several age-appropriate activities, she said. For example, they can ask students questions about what they have just read.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com