Common Sense Review
Updated July 2013

BiblioNasium

Site for reviewing and sharing books makes reading a social adventure
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Common Sense Rating 4
Pros
It's clean, colorful, and really appealing to young readers; all instruction is written in kid-friendly language.
Cons
There isn't much room for kids to write reviews in their own words.
Bottom Line
This safe, simple social network lets kids share their reading success with friends, creating healthy competition and confidence.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

With the support of Coach Chip Manzee, an animated monkey motivator, kids will stay engaged by completing self-created challenges or competing for gift cards. Design is colorful and super kid-friendly.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Kids will not only read books but also learn how to talk about them, forming opinions as they share thoughts with friends. These skills could help them with essay writing in the future and improve their communication online and in real life.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

An excellent help section and a series of FAQs are available for each type of user: kid, parent, and teacher. Additionally, Coach Chip Manzee often appears on-screen to share helpful hints (this function can be turned off).

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How Can Teachers Use It?

You can use BibloNasium to keep track of your students' summer reading progress, or you can create contests and rewards based on how many books they've read. It's also a great place to source discussion opportunities; if students seem to love a certain book and have strong opinions about it, you can bring that enthusiasm into the classroom.

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What's It Like?

BiblioNasium is a social network that allows students to log books, review them, and share or recommend them to fellow kid readers. Parents or teachers must sign up first and then grant access to kids. Users get to choose an animated avatar and can then start to add books to their My Books section.

Students can then log their progress, create reading challenges for themselves, and review and recommend books to their BiblioNasium friends. In return, they'll get to see what other kids are reading in a safe, private environment.

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Is It Good For Learning?

BiblioNasium gives students the opportunity to talk about books, driving home the point that reading doesn't have to be a lonely endeavor -- it can even be fun! When students add a book to their BiblioNasium library, they immediately get to make choices: Did they like it? Why did they like it? Why do they want to share it with a friend? They'll learn communication skills, improve their writing skills, and actually read books! BiblioNasium is a warm, colorful community where students can challenge themselves and have a great time doing it.

Students will pick books to read, then log each one into BiblioNasium. They'll then share how they felt about that book with friends, learning some basic analytical skills in the process. By making and then reaching their reading goals, students can become more confident as readers and hopefully transfer that feeling to other academic endeavors.

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