Hoopla digital, the category-creating digital service for public libraries, served as a central resource for educators, students and parents last spring during nationwide quarantine and school closures and is offering a full range of home-schooling and educational titles as families head back-to-school. hoopla digital is nationally recognised as the leading digital resource for STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) along with a wide range of eBooks on creativity, language, spelling and special interests.
Education content surged on hoopla digital as parents first adjusted to remote learning at the onset of the pandemic. Borrowing trends indicated high interest in resources for remote learning and demands soared for instant access to education and STEAM eBooks. Borrows for puzzles, word games, and activity books also spiked to record highs on the service as families found those hard-to-find items plentiful on hoopla, through their public library. Patron borrows for all children’s titles on hoopla were up 225% during April through June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
“Our mission as a digital service is to help provide on-demand access to dynamic library content. During the pandemic libraries served as an important education lifeline, even as physical spaces were forced to close. hoopla digital has long been a reliable resource for educators and home-school families because of our range of content, quick search, and ease-of-use. As schools nationwide moved to remote learning, more families discovered hoopla and our service helped them through the change in educational setting,” said hoopla digital co-founder Jeff Jankowski.
“Along with our partner libraries, hoopla digital is prepared to serve as a central resource as families return to learning, whether classes are in-person or virtual,” said Jankowski.
Six of seven parents say their children will be participating in remote learning this autumn, according to a new survey from The New York Times. As the vast majority of families and educators prepare for hybrid and full-time remote classrooms, access to EdTech resources will be integral to their success. Addressing the need for accessible education, hoopla digital is providing access to hundreds of thousands of enriching educational titles and free lesson plans from leading classroom educators.
Educational content is available instantly via the hoopla digital mobile app or website to anyone with a library card from a participating public library.
“Patron registrations on hoopla digital soared 78 percent year-over-year when schools and libraries shuttered in the spring and that momentum has continued over the summer. Borrows surged – eBooks were up 113 percent – and held steady, showing that those who discovered this content found it helpful in taking on the remote and hybrid education challenge,” added Jankowski.
Educators have utilised hoopla digital as an asset for lesson plans, homework aids and to bridge learning over the summer months. hoopla has partnered with several prominent educators, including middle school educator Ty Cook and kindergarten educator MoNique Waters to offer free lesson plans for parents and teachers, along with live Q&A events.
Hoopla will continue its educator partnerships throughout the coming school year, with quarterly virtual events and themed lesson plans for a variety of student groups and ages. Previous educator takeovers and upcoming event announcements are accessible on hoopla’s Instagram.
“This school year has placed a tremendous amount of stress and uncertainty on students, parents and educators. hoopla digital helped me to ease the transition. Hoopla’s accessible digital platform offers a range of excellent resources that teachers, parents and students can utilise whether you’re fully in-person, in a hybrid model, or entirely distance learning. The service has become an extension of my hybrid classroom with a depth of titles that can keep students engaged no matter where they are. I’ve created lesson plans using hoopla’s STEAM titles, which my middle school students have really enjoyed. It is so easy for them to adopt at home and helped us feel more connected even during this time of social distancing,” said Atlanta-based seventh grade life science educator Ty Cook.
Jankowski adds that families who have tapped hoopla for remote learning have also discovered content to help with extended periods of quarantine and stay-at-home orders. Popular content on hoopla such as read-a-longs, puzzles, word games and children’s television shows skyrocketed in borrows.
Adults who were searching hoopla for home schooling discovered content that addressed their own educational interests. According to Jankowski, eBooks on health, immunity and virology boomed along with demand for escapist humor-related titles. eBooks on marriage and relationships rose nearly 5,000 percent.
“We’re committed to helping families at every stage. We see firsthand the need for educational content, and we know how essential games and entertainment content is for cognitive and creative engagement,” added Jankowski. “We believe that hoopla has a key role to play to help bridge education, leisure, and even social connection gaps during the pandemic.”
To access content on hoopla digital, cardholders of participating libraries can download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or iOS device or visit hoopladigital.com. Content on hoopla can be accessed across a range of platforms including Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and Chromecast. Titles on hoopla can also be downloaded and accessed later if a Wi-Fi connection is not available. Additionally, hoopla digital offers “Kids Mode,” which families can use to shape the content experience and to search for and access kid-friendly titles any time.
Hoopla digital is in over 8,000 public libraries across the U.S. and Canada including Free Library of Philadelphia, Chicago Public Library, San Francisco Public Library, and Los Angeles Public Library. Visit hoopladigital.com to find out if your library partners with hoopla.