Saturday, October 6, 2012

Something New For Our eBooks.....The mackinVIA App!

On Monday, Mackin Educational Resources made a very exciting announcement.
The mackinVIA reader app for iPad and Droid is now available for FREE in the iTunes store and at Google Play.  

On the Mackin Educational Resources Facebook page, they posted a video that explained the mackinVIA Reader.  It is such a wonderful video that shows all of the features of the new app.  
You can watch mackinVIA Reader Demo here.  
I went to school and downloaded it onto several of the iPads that day.  I just knew that the teachers and students would be so excited for this addition to the online mackinVIA that we already love (Here is the post that explains the mackinVIA eBook initiative within our school...Something Exciting Has Come To Van Meter....mackinVIA and eBooks!) 
Later on in the day, I had the 4th graders in the computer lab during library and technology time.  One of the 4th graders was reading Black Beauty.  When I saw the book sitting there in front of Sophia, I just knew I had to tell her about the book being an eBook within our mackinVIA.  This has been a popular eBook within the "Classics" category, along with several others the students are reading.  

She was so happy and loved that she could read Black Beauty on a computer and using the new app.  

I grabbed my iPad and told Sophia to come sit down with me on the carpet in the back of the room.  I showed her the mackinVIA app and told her to go there to sign in.  The first screen that came up was a login screen where you are to "Select Your School".  When Sophia started typing "Van Meter", she had choices pop up automatically.  She was able to choose "Van Meter Elementary, Van Meter" from the short list.  
To sign into the mackinVIA app, you must use the username and password for your mackinVIA Backpack.  If you already have one, sign in on the app.
If you do not have a mackinVIA Backpack yet, you will need to register for one online here.  My students have a simple username and password.  The "notification email" was not required.  

Once you have completed the "Backpack Register", you will be able to log into the mackinVIA app too.   

Sophia put in the username and password for her mackinVIA Backpack.
I just LOVE the giant button that appears on the opening screen.  It is hard to not push it right away.  Once the button is pushed, the eBooks and databases within your mackinVIA can be searched.  
All of the different "Categories" that our eBooks and databases are organized into came up first.  Sophia knew exactly what to do from this screen, because it is the same interface as mackinVIA online.    

I explained to her that Black Beauty was a classic, so we searched under "Classics" for the eBook. 
Sophia scrolled through the "Classics" until she found Black Beauty.  

Once Black Beauty was found, Sophia had a few choices on what she wanted to do with the eBook.  She could add it her "Backpack" or "Read Now."  She wanted to try adding it to her Backpack, so she did.  As you can see in the picture above, once the eBook is in your Backpack it has a little red "Mine" right on top of the eBook cover.  

Sophia was happy that the cover of the eBook also had a horse painted on it, similar to the one she has been carrying around in her hands for the last few weeks.  

Sophia was very comfortable using the mackinVIA app to read Black Beauty.  It took her no time at all to catch on to the different features.  
She used her fingers to make the screen larger and smaller.   
After choosing the icon at the bottom of the mackinVIA app, Sophia saw that it brought up the chapters of the eBooks in a purple box on the left-hand side of the screen.
She also loved the little slide at the bottom of the page.  She was able to slide her finger back and forth to go to the different pages of the eBook.  

Sophia also chose the little "i" at the bottom of the screen and it brought up "Book Info."  This purple box told when the eBook was due, title, author, publisher, length, and a short annotation.  
At the top of the screen, there is a tiny magnifying glass.  With this icon, you can search within the eBook that you are reading. 
Sophia knew that the time was running out for her on that day in the library.  She didn't want to stop reading, so I showed her how to bookmark the page she was on with the little ribbon-type bookmark at the top underneath the backpack.  She thought this was very fun and bookmarked a few more pages within Black Beauty.  
After she bookmarked pages within the eBook, Sophia could see them by clicking on the little book icon right by the magnifying glass at the top.  To go to a certain bookmark, she just clicked on it from within the list.
 Before Sophia left, we also looked at a few more eBooks within our mackinVIA.  She checked out The Call of the Wild.  When we looked at "My Checkouts", we could see that two eBooks were checked out. The due date showed and there is also the option to "check in" or "download" here too.

Next week I am going to show all of the students at Van Meter how to use the mackinVIA app on the iPads and our tablets.
I will also be sending a Mackin bookmark home with each one of them.  I created a QR code sticker to put on each one of the bookmarks.  This QR code will take the students and their families to the mackinVIA app in the iTunes store.  I want them to have access to all of our eBooks at home easily as possible.

But for now, my little guy Hagan has been checking out the mackinVIA app on our iPad.
And just like Sophia....he gives it a "thumbs up"!


  1. Thank you for this thoughtful post, so full of ideas.. it is helpful & your post motivated me..thank

    Online Diploma

    1. Hi,

      Thank you. I am happy you found it helpful. :)

      Have a wonderful day, Shannon

  2. Don't you work for this company? So aren't your opinions a little biased? It's like a paid endorsement.

  3. I really want my ebooks in libraries. I wouldn't put a limit on how many lends.