Sora/Overdrive Updates and FAQs

Thanks for your patience. It's exciting!

Question: Which do I use?

Answer: Sora is about to become the dominant platform, but it's okay to use the classic Overdrive as well. Note: The two platforms don't sync with each other. If you check out a title in Sora, you won't see it in Overdrive, and vice versa.


Advantages to classic Overdrive: being able to download onto a Nook or mp3 player; streaming videos are accessible


Advantages to Sora: Easy interface; more engaging; iPhone/Android app downloads the title onto your device (just like the Kindle app); can connect to your public library account as well as your school account on the device; cam return title early, take notes/highlights that you keep, and more

Question: How do I log in?

Good question! I am attaching a screencast. Basically, if you still get a traditional username/password prompt, you log in using your old login. If you get a big green button, you are Google authenticated and log in using Google authentication. Saratoga folks...your case is different, so I'm not sure how it works for you. :)


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yEvcUdRmhY9Pv2rPOi8HpfyS_dUdhZlG/view

Question: How do I access Sora? Why can't I find an app on my desktop or Chromebook?

Answer: If you're on a smartphone or newer Chromebook, you can download the Sora app (for free) from your device's store. (Note: accessibility to the Google Play Store on newer Chromebooks may be restricted by your IT folks on school devices.)


If you're on a device that does not have access to apps, you can access the button on your OPALS catalog home page, or just go to https://soraapp.com/welcome in your browser, and bookmark the site. You can encourage students to bookmark it as well. Once students log in to Sora on their device, they stay logged in unless they log out (or until your school is Google authenticated, if they aren't yet).

Question: How do I know if the access levels are ok for my littles?

You'll have to play around with Overdrive/Sora and log in as an elementary or middle school student to make sure the access levels are working appropriately in your district. For the most part, they should be. If not, let us know.


We've combed through the consortium titles multiple times, but if there's a title that you think elementary students should not be seeing, or a title that they could once see that they now cannot and should be able to, let us know that as well.


*Note: If you previously purchased Advantage titles, you will have to check those access levels in your Overdrive Marketplace. We can't see your purchases. Here's how to edit access levels of your Advantage titles:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YzsF_8yqSzYJ8kQbvWG5Hg1ZM4Jb224j/view

Question: How do I know when I'm Google authenticated? Who do I bug if I'm not?

Answer: You'll know that the process is moving along if you can see the Overdrive icon in your G Suite waffle. (Note: the waffle you see in Gmail and Drive is different from the waffle you see when on a generic Google page. Make sure you're in Gmail or Drive.) Once you are Google authenticated, the login process for Overdrive and Sora will take you to a Google login page.


If you can see the Overdrive icon but get a 404 message when you click on it, then the Google authentication process is not complete just yet. Monitor it, be patient, and talk to your IT folks if it doesn't appear to progress beyond that. Sometimes IT and Overdrive need a little nudge to keep things moving once the process is started. :)

Question: How do I assign materials in Sora? Why don't I have a teacher account? How can I monitor student progress?

Assigning materials is something that's done through Marketplace, not in the app. Also keep in mind that Sora and its parent, Overdrive, function as a library model. They've got great features for teacher/student use, but they won't give you access to monitor everything your students are doing. It's a lending program, not a reading program, and it's an exciting way to keep that love of books going.

More questions? Let us know...

If you have any other questions that you want me to add to this Smore, let us know!