Brain Hive in the Classroom: Getting Started

starting-line

Part of my job as Concierge at Brain Hive includes working with librarians and teachers who are new to our platform, helping them to set up their accounts, determine their budgets, and select eBook collections to make available to their students. During these conversations, we are able to discuss their schools’ unique character and environment, and we often brainstorm ideas together about how best to begin to use Brain Hive to meet their schools’ needs. I really value these conversations, because they provide me with a great deal of insight into the innovative and thoughtful ways that educators across the country are using eBooks in their libraries and curriculum.

I thought I would devote today’s blog to sharing some of these ideas on how to hit the ground running with your school’s new Brain Hive account. Looking back on my teaching days, I remember how launching a new reading program or tech initiative often felt pretty overwhelming. I knew I was being provided with something new and exciting, but many times, I felt like I had been given insufficient direction on how to use it. Needless to say, I very much appreciated the occasions when I was given specific, concrete suggestions on how to use new tools in my classroom. So with this sentiment in mind, I’ve decided to provide you with some of those specific, concrete suggestions for beginning to roll out Brain Hive usage in your schools, hopefully to combat that overwhelming feeling of not knowing quite what to do with an interesting new set of educational tools.

So, without further ado, here are a couple of quick ideas for getting started with Brain Hive.

  • Work From the Top Down: In an elementary school, slowly build your students’ familiarity with Brain Hive by encouraging classroom teachers to use Brain Hive eBooks and audiobooks in their lessons and read-alouds, before teaching students how to access eBooks on their own.
  • Start Small: Rather than spending the time to roll out Brain Hive across your entire student population at once, select a smaller subgroup to help you “get your feet wet” with the platform. Does your school have time for independent reading set aside during the day? Pull together a small group of students to be your Brain Hive guinea pigs during this time. This will allow you to build familiarity with the platform, and see how students interact with it, all in a low-pressure setting.
  • Specialize: If you work in a secondary school (though this can of course work in an elementary school as well), set up a partnership with a single subject-area teacher (or department), and work together to build a Brain Hive supplementary reading list to complement their lessons during a particular unit.
  • Let the Students Lead the Way: After you’ve “Started Small” by launching Brain Hive with a select group of students, let these students show their classmates how to use the platform. Leverage kids’ comfort with digital tools by designating a group of “Brain Hive Experts” that other students can go to with basic questions, or set aside a day when a group of older students mentors kids in younger grades on how to find and read eBooks on Brain Hive.
  • Add Some Pizzazz: Who doesn’t love a party? Build anticipation and excitement around Brain Hive by launching it with a celebration, or by linking it to your established library promotions, book fairs, and reading challenges. If you’re interested in launching an eBook reading challenge, we have created free, easy-to-access tools for launching a Beeline Reading Challenge here.

If you’d like to talk through any of these ideas for rolling out Brain Hive in your school (or if you’ve got some super creative ideas of your own!), I’d love to talk with you! Shoot me an email at concierge@brainhive.com or give me a call at 855-554-4483.

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