Media Center Technology Resources

January 2020

The Valley Ridge Academy Digital Literacy Resources

Each of these resources can enhance your curriculum. Ask yourself as we go through each one, "How can this resource impact the lowest quartile students?"

  • Worldbook Online Encyclopedia – research, trivia games and webquests for all grades
  • Teachingbooks.Net – a district paid website for children’s literature
  • Neflin's Tech Talk - a district paid website that has short technology training videos and information
  • MackinVia E-books – finding reading ranges, using backpacks, and resources from other schools
  • Learning Ally - audio book library for ESE and/or RTI students
  • Other E-book and Audio Book resources - Vooks, Reading IQ, Scholastic Literacy Pro
  • Newspapers, DOGO News, and Wonderopolis
  • Destiny Library Search Catalog – books, e-books, and databases
  • Additional Resources - Book Taco, Book Maker, Kahoot, Socrative

Access these resources from the VRA Media Center Website and learn more below.

Worldbook Online Encyclopedia

WorldBook Online is an excellent subscription encyclopedia database resource for research for all ages at VRA. World Book is the first place to start your research for reliable, appropriate student friendly information. The platform includes a dictionary and atlas. You can easily access Valley Ridge Academy's subscription from the media center website at home or school. The username is vra and the password is hawks.

Teachingbooks.Net – a district paid website for children’s literature is an easy-to-use website that adds a multimedia dimension to the reading experiences of children's and young adult books. The online database is developed and maintained to include thousands of resources about fiction and nonfiction books used in the K–12 environment, with every resource selected to encourage the integration of multimedia author and book materials into reading and library activities. The password for students and parents is stjohnsfl. St. John's county teachers can access the site by clicking on Educator Login and use their district email address. The link below will give you and introduction to this literature resource.

Neflin's Tech Talk

This site will send you an email once a week with Tech-Tips. The Tech-Tips are saved in a searchable library. Gain a competitive edge in the job market with this professional development resource: Technology Training for Non-Techies and Communications Skills Expertise.

Username: sjcsd

Password: sjcsd

MackinVia E-books

VRA students and families have access to 600 e-books and audio books from MackinVIA. Some books are interactive, some can be used as a read aloud, while others are simply a standard book to be read online. The link below is a video introduction to this e-book platform. The VRA Media Center purchases the majority of the e-books that are part of the MackinVia platform. Some e-books are multi-user while the others are single user check-out. Username = E-number (s-number for students) and the Password = school/district log-in. Teachers can access the collections from all the schools in the district. Palencia's collection has nearly 2,000 books.

Epic - free ebooks for your classroom

Epic is like Netflix for children's books. The e-book platform is provided free to educators and supported by home subscriptions.


  • Gives instant access to the world’s largest digital library of high-quality fiction and nonfiction for kids with 35,000 ebooks, audio books, and learning videos
  • Includes personalized reading recommendations for each child based on individual reading preferences and abilities
  • Reading logs to track student progress
  • Available on iPads, iPhone, Android devices, and on any computer or desktop

You can read on Epic! at home, with a $7.99 subscription. 30 days free at home access. Click here.

Learning Ally - audio book library for students who need reading accommodations

Teachers across the nation are discovering how easy it is to help students with print disabilities read, learn and succeed. A national nonprofit, Learning Ally provides the world's largest library of human narrated books produced for students with disabilities. Teachers can share this vast collection of accessible educational content with their students, providing truly differentiated instruction to suit individual learning styles. They can also monitor students' progress, help them read at grade level for the long term and stay on track with their peers.

If you have students who you feel will benefit from this program, please contact the VRA Media Center or the VRA ILC. We can add students to the program based on their eligibility and request the software be put on to student devices. Eligibility requirements are posted below.

Vooks - Storybooks Brought to Life

Vooks is a kid-safe video streaming service with ad-free, age-appropriate content. Every Vooks title is specifically crafted to make screen time better—from the pacing and animation, to the read-along format—it’s screen time you can feel good about. Teachers can get a year long subscription for free. Start your subscription with a FREE MONTH of the entire Vooks library on us. After that, it’s only $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Vooks: Storybooks brought to life

Other Ebook Resources

Reading IQ - similar to Raz-Kids with more books and reading assessment that then recommends books and is free for teachers.

Scholastic Reading Pro - similar to Raz-Kids with more books and favorite titles. Has many leveling features and encourages choice when completing independent reading.

Digital Access to Local Newspapers

Teachers and students have access to the digital version of The St. Augustine Record and the Jacksonville Times Union. The link to access these newspapers is Choose the publication desired and enter the username vra and the password hawks.

Destiny Library Search Catalog – books, e-books, and audio books

DESTINY - Link to VRA's Library Catalog to search for our school's resources.

To log-in Username: Student Number or Teacher e-number both with the “s” or “e” Password: same password used to log-in to laptops (it will change if you change your password.)

  • Search for books
  • Create a list
  • Monitor what you have checked-out
  • View or create a collection of resources

Book Taco

Book Taco is a FREE online resource that motivates students to read more books. Designed to serve as the interactive platform for student choice book programs, Battle of the Books, summer reading, or customized classroom book lists, Book Taco will encourage greater student participation while providing educators a dynamic dashboard where they can monitor student reading progress, assign activities, reward effort and consolidate student reviews.

Book Creator App in Chrome

Book Creator has been around for I-pad for a while now. It is a comprehensive way to write, create and publish books or projects. Now you can use Book Creator in Chrome as a App or web based. The process results in an e-book that has the look and feel of an actual book. Links to books can be put in other platforms like MackinVia. You can maintain 40 books for free.
Book Creator for Chrome

Office 365 Advantage at Home

Did you know that The Advantage program allows our district to provide Office 365 ProPlus FREE to active teachers and students? This program gives our students and teachers access to the latest full version of Microsoft Office at home at no additional cost. Here's how to put this into action for yourself.

Kahoot - quizzing platform

Kahoot is a free quizzing platform that can be used and played with multiple devices connected to the internet.

Socrative - quizzing platform

Socrative is a great way to use technology for formative assessments with any type of internet device. It is your app for fun and effective classroom engagement. Get instant insight into student learning with easy-to-create quizzes, polls, exit tickets and more! There is a free and a pro edition for educators.
Socrative Overview - Snow

Padlet - online sharing platform

Padlet is an online virtual “bulletin” board, where students and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location. Padlet allows users to create a hidden wall with a custom URL. Padlet creators can also moderate posts, remove posts, and manage their board 24/7. Padlet is free and easy to use! Padlet for Beginners

Classroom Screen

ClassroomScreen is a free digital screen that has classroom gadgets like a timer, volume control, clock, text, symbols, random draw and more. It is quick and easy to use.

Buncee - creation and presentation tool

Buncee is a creation and presentation tool for students and educators to create interactive classroom content, allowing learners of all ages to visualize concepts and communicate creatively. This program or App is similar to creating a PowerPoint but has the visual content readily available for students to use without having to search for images on the internet. It is intuitive and easy to use then other presentation software and is friendlier for presenting content too.

Valley Ridge Academy Media Center

The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas, information and technology. Creating a foundation for lifelong learning and a love of reading is at the heart of our program.