Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tech Tips Tuesday

iPad for Preschoolers #5 Bookshelf

Today I thought I would share some book apps that are available and beneficial. I must admit that these apps have not had much use on my iPad, as I'm still quite committed to the old-fashioned, ink-on-pages variety. While I agree that it is nice to have a book with moving pictures and flashing words, my son also prefers to cuddle up on the couch and read one of his favourite, slightly torn and buckled books. While he will sit still for multiple readings of one such book, I struggle to keep him from pinching the page of the electronic version! And so, I think to myself, "Why am I fighting this?" and put the iPad away for another time, draw him up onto my lap and read with my own voice and expression - maybe this is what it is really about after all!

That said, there are some great book apps, that provide for interaction with the text and images.

Sesame Street Books - I love some of these, particularly The Monster at the End of this Book which was a favourite of both my husband and I when we were growing up. The original version of this book draws the reader in and Grover asks (or begs) the reader not to turn the pages as they draw us closer to the monster at the end of the book. The electronic version does not disappoint, and equally enjoyable is Another Monster at the End of this Book.

Dr Seuss Books - I was amazed to see how many Dr Seuss Books have now been made electronic and are available through the app store. I remember learning to read with Dr Seuss and his zany, rhyming tales. As in the original version, these texts are fairly lengthy - too lengthy for my two-year old at this stage. The apps allow you to read the story, hear it read, and touch words to hear them again. I bought a selection of these stories when they were on sale recently.

Graeme Base - The work of Graeme Base is a sight to behold. His detailed illustrations attract and captivate the attention of both children and adults. The text is also amazing, reminding us of how beautiful the English language can when words are carefully selected. Through his work we can teach children about using adjectives, adverbs and interesting verbs to paint with words. In Animalia, Base makes good use of alliteration to explore each letter of the alphabet. The Waterhole is a counting book with so much more. Base illustrates different regions of the world and the issue of biodiversity and shared resources. The apps encourage the reader to take a closer look at the details within the illustrations and to find the hidden items.

Bedtime Stories - Here are two apps I have found that work well at bedtime. Goodnight Safari is a read-along story that invites children to interact with the safari animals. It also includes some learning activities beneficial to preschoolers. Nighty Night has been a favourite of ours for bedtime. Children turn out the lights in the farmhouse and put all the animals to bed before going off to bed themselves. It is in the 'book' category on iTunes, but doesn't include written text, and children choose the order in which they interact with the farm animals.

If you'd like to read more on selecting appropriate book apps, you should read this article: Let the Reader Beware:| Evaluating Digital Books.

Other posts that might interest you:
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #1 Mathematics Concepts
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #2 Alphabet Apps
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #3 Let's Pretend
Tech Tips Tuesday - iPad for Preschoolers #4 Creative Play

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