Where Can Teachers Find Free Audiobooks for Their Students
Audiobooks are fantastic ways to bring stories to life in your classroom and keep students engaged. Reading Rockets explains, “Audiobooks have traditionally been used in schools by teachers of second-language learners, learning-disabled students, and struggling readers or nonreaders. In many cases, audiobooks have proven successful in providing a way for these students to access literature and enjoy books.” However, educators have found that audiobooks benefit all students!
Unfortunately, audiobooks are pricey, so you should not expect your students to have them at home. You should also not plan on spending large amounts of money to build your audiobook collection for your classroom. For instance, the widely popular Audible site for downloadable audiobooks is a subscription-based service, but it only allows you to choose one book per month. Instead, take advantage of the wealth of free audiobooks available for teachers and students.
As you begin your search for free audiobooks for your students, begin at your school library. Most school libraries have access to audiobook services or schoolwide subscriptions available for student use outside of school. In addition to your school library, you should also venture to the public library. Public libraries have tons of free resources. By teaching your students how to use the public library, you can put a great amount of free resources into their hands (such as audiobooks).
One of the major library services is Overdrive. If students have a library card, they can visit Overdrive to find and download millions of audiobooks and eBooks. Plus, Overdrive has current titles and not simply a collection of classic titles.
Hoopla is another digital resource that many libraries subscribe to, which means library patrons (like your students) can stream or download audiobooks directly to their electronic devices. A major benefit of Hoopla is that there is no waiting list for items.
Most people just think of Spotify as a music platform; however, even those who use the free version of Spotify can search and find quality audiobooks. If you need help finding free audiobooks on Spotify, check out Book Riot’s Guide.
LibriVox is a free digital collection of audiobooks that are in the public domain that have been recorded by volunteers from around the world. What this means is your students can find many titles for free, but some of the audio narrators may not be the best.
Story Nory is not a collection of audiobooks; instead, it is a website that is a collection of audio stories. While you will not find the classics here, you can still find audio stories for younger audiences that will keep them engaged and learning.
Like LibriVox, Loyal Books is another digital collection of free audiobooks and it allows users to download the audiobooks in different file formats.
For younger students, Storyline Online is a fantastic daytime Emmy nominated program. This is a website that includes videos of celebrities reading children’s books. In addition to the celebrity video recordings of the books, they also have curriculum for educators for each book.