Over the next week, I would like to take a break from reviewing specific books and take some time to start reflecting on what makes a Book App for children successful. Above all, I'd like to think about how books created in this new medium can engage children, can help them get excited about reading, can make books and information more accessible.
This discussion came as a result of a presentation I led at last weekend's KidLitCon, and could not be possible without the immense creative help and thoughts of Paula Willey (PinkMe) and Betsy Bird (Fuse #8), my amazing, dynamic co-presenters. Below are my thoughts, but are shaped in huge part by both of their thinking on this subject.
|(from the left) Paula Willey, me and Betsy Bird at KidLitCon|
Book apps are interactive computer programs based on books; specifically here, I am talking about apps sold for the iPad and iPhone through the Apple iTunes app market. There are also apps sold through the Android market for other tablets and smart phones, but because the Apple market is the largest (and the iPad is what I have), that’s what I’ll be talking about here. These are not ebooks, which are essentially reprinting of the text and pictures. They are interactive books, which means that you can poke or press different parts and they respond to your actions.
What do you think are key features for a Book App that is geared toward children? How can these interactive programs engage our children and develop literacy skills? What are some examples of the best apps you've encountered?
Stay tuned, as I explore these questions and more. Below are links to the series as it develops:
To search out reviews I've done on Book Apps, click the "ebook" label on the right side of the blog (or click here).
(note: photo is from Flickr, Creative Commons, by Alec Couros)
©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.