How I Use It
I use Epic almost daily to provide reading opportunities for my students. Students each have a portfolio where they can design an Avatar, specify book preferences, read, and rate books. They use this daily for silent reading and also during free choice time. In addition, I use Epic to curate books I want my students to read. Epic provides interest and Lexile level for books so it's easy to search a topic and find books that are "just right" for each of my students. Sometimes I have all of my students read the same book and other times I divide the class into small groups based on reading level or interest and different students read different books. The third way I use Epic is to project the book via AirPlay and do a read aloud. It makes it easier for students to see the book when compared to me holding up a paper book. We can also underline and circle words as we discuss reading strategies. Some of the books offer a "read to me" option and the voice is an actual person rather than a digitized voice. Epic is continually adding books to their library and the books are actual published books and not only books created simply for the site.
Epic is a fantastic and FREE way to access thousands of books. I love the fact that my students can choose from so many fiction and non-fiction books without my classroom library expanding to take over the physical space of my classroom. I can offer the students more book opportunities through Epic than possible through paper. Students are engaged and enjoy rating books after they read. Epic will continue to improve as they add more popular authors and series, but for a free service I am highly impressed by what is already available! This is a top find of mine for 2015.