How I Use It
Disclaimer: I teach high school. I use this with my 1st and 2nd grade kids at home.
I use Epic! with my kids to provide high-interest reading material. The book selection is awesome, current, and varied. My boys love to read the graphic novels and chapter books. They also can research nonfiction topics that they are studying in school. In the classroom, I might steer certain kids to books on subjects we're studying.
From the teacher profile, I can see how many books they've read, the number of pages turned, the time spent reading, and badges earned.
That's right: Loads of useful data.
And incentives. The more kids read, the more badges they earn. Young readers who like to chase rewards can get digital badges for completing reading challenges.
Epic! also will help students build their reading program. It starts with asking users to identify genres of interest. It has recommendations based on these preferences and it continues to tailor suggestions based on books the kids read. For voracious readers or reluctant readers, having on-target suggestions for new books is a big encourager.
My kids love to read. They read faster than we can get to the library for new books. Epic! is our go-to digital library. The selection of books is phenomenal. My boys don't usually love reading online because the pages change when they touch the screen, but they are willing to use Epic! because the selection is so varied and current.
$4.99/month for non-educators is still a deal if your kids love to read. Educators can set up a free account with up to 36 profiles for their students, too. One thing I do wish: I wish the students could access the school account at home or that the two were linked at least. The link might be coming in the future.
Books CAN be downloaded and read offline, too! (For now, only on the mobile version. Not the website version yet.)
The educator profile also allows the teacher to track students' progress. (Parents can view their children's stats, too.) Epic! will give data on the number of books read in a specific time period, time spent reading, pages turned, and badges earned.
It even provides some books in Spanish and as read alouds. I love this app.