New Ereading Platform Bridges the Gap Between Publishers and Teachers
Qlovi, an ebook distribution platform for K-12 learning, has one foot in trade publishing and one in the classroom, says Shira Schindel, vice president of content acquisitions. "We are in a great position to help those industries connect," says Schindel, "There are many challenges in the educational market that are not always on the forefront of a publisher's mind." Foremost among those challenges is meeting Common Core standards and managing the growing role of technology in the classroom. Qlovi aims to address these challenges and bridge the gap between industries by connecting publishers directly to the schools and teachers that they serve.
Qlovi was founded in 2012 with the mission of increasing literacy in K-12 classrooms and in particular among English language learners. The ebook platform hopes to achieve this by granting teachers and students greater access to the books they need and providing them at a low cost. Qlovi sells tokens to school districts, schools, or directly to teachers, which can be exchanged for six-week access to trade fiction and non-fiction ebook titles. Using the token system, borrowing one title costs less than a dollar and gives teachers the capability to order and receive books as soon as they need them. The platform is also device-agnostic, meaning any device with internet access can use Qlovi.
Since its founding, Qlovi has signed on approximately 20,000 teachers and reaches over 100,000 students. More than 20 publishers provide titles for Qlovi, and in May the company announced major partnerships with HarperCollins and Open Road Integrated Media.
Qlovi wants to be more than a distributor and hopes to provide publishers with meaningful data on how titles are used. Currently, the platform provides sales data to publishers, but it has the capability to do more. Because the Qlovi ereader includes several free tools for teachers like Common Core aligned lessons, assessments, grading rubrics, and lesson-building tools, valuable data can be collected on title usage. Qlovi is able to assess the impact of individual titles on achievement, what titles are most popular, and what titles are helping teachers meet Common Core standards. In the near future the ebook platform will offer publishers in-depth reports on how their books are being used in the classroom.
Qlovi is connecting publishers and classrooms through live events as well. Launched last fall the Qlovi + Author Reading Series (or Q + A) has brought dozens of authors and illustrators into thousands of classrooms via Google Hangout to read their own works and answer student questions. Q + A was the result of a partnership with the Children's Book Council Diversity Initiative and it reached over 60,000 students in one day. "It's been a tremendous success," says Schindel. "We've repeated that two times since and publishers are ecstatic to reach such a large number of students in one day. I think every single author in our series has been asked, 'Where can we find your book?' and 'What comes next?'"
Qlovi plans to expand this fall to include more tools for teachers, including enhanced Common Core search capabilities that will allow teachers to find ebooks that fit specific requirements. Schindel anticipates greater support for enhanced ebooks, more bi-lingual and Spanish language content, and more regular, sponsored Q + A events. Many of these projects, says Schindel, will be ready for launch in time for the new school year.