An app available through the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s website can help students during COVID times. (Stock photo)

An app available through the Vancouver Island Regional Library’s website can help students during COVID times. (Stock photo)

New library app can help families with online learning

Sample tests, virtual flashcards available through Vancouver Island Regional Library’s website

With COVID-19 conditions affecting student instruction, Vancouver Island Regional Library is offering a new tool for students to help weather the pandemic educational storm.

The 2020-21 school year started under provincial pandemic guidelines and Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district saw a surge in distributed (distance) learning enrolment. Louise Broadley, divisional manager of collections and support services, says the regional library system began offering the Solaro online resource in January, providing students between Grades 3-12 with sample tests and online learning tools.

“We started looking at this last fall, just finding an educational tool for families because a lot of kids were at home learning,” said Broadley. “We found this one is particularly nice because it [follows] the B.C. curriculum and it incorporates some of the new curriculum … We wanted to have a product available for families to be able to use given some families’ kids are still home learners.”

In addition to practice tests, Solaro also offers students the ability to place information on virtual flashcards, which they can use in their studying.

The app also offers more than just sample tests, according to Broadley.

“What are some nice things that it does is shows [students’] completion of different lessons and the progression of a course … You can take a portion of a lesson, turn it into a flashcard and ask a question for the flashcard,” said Broadley. “You can make notes; they’re highlighting text and then a pop-up comes up to say if you want to create a flashcard or a note for this lesson, so it’s a really nice studying tool.”

In January, Broadley said there were 200 families, or individuals, that signed up to use the app and they used it about 400 times.

“We’re anticipating greater usage as more families get to use the product and through word-of-mouth … the content is quite rich,” said Broadley.

The resource is “designed specifically around the B.C. curriculum” a press release said, and in additional to practice tests, Solaro also offer students lessons and the ability to place information on virtual flashcards. Subjects include English and language arts, math and science.

Solaro can be accessed at and is free to any student with a Vancouver Island Regional Library card.

RELATED: Interest in VIRL digital offerings soars during pandemic

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Most Read