We had so much fun hosting our first Twitter party, Generation App, where we discussed many aspects of children’s book apps. A big thanks to everyone who attended, and for those of you who missed it (or would simply like a recap), here are the party highlights!
Topic 1: Interactive features in digital book apps. What do you like, dislike, what would you love to see?
janefarrall love word-by-word highlighting and text-to-speech for some – but would be lovely to toggle on and off
i pad_storytime Love interactivity that furthers the story – Hate it when it interferes with reading comprehension.
MaggeeB getting kids interested & involved w/o taking away from the book experience; its sometimes a fine line.
momswithapps Consistent, straightforward page turning so the child can proceed at their own pace without confusion.
brooks_jones I have had to reserve certain storybook apps for PLAYtime, instead of STORYtime.
WeeShare I use certain books when the app is “reading” to her and certain books when we read aloud, based on the features included
techinspecialed Would like to see books with actions (verbs), propositions, opposites and other basic skills features not feasible in print.
brooks_jones I also LOVE to see features added in that truly take advantage of the medium, instead of just adding ‘bells/whistles’
trishpip Should storybook apps have comprehension questions at the end?
mmarianmuffins I’d love to explore the term “interactivity,” and what it means in relation to reading!
A4CWSN Cause and effect, very important for special needs children.
ddonahoo there is not enough thought yet being put into what is actually possible with storybook apps…which will happen, just takes time
Topic 2: What do you think is lost and/or gained in transitioning books from print to digital?
brooks_jones LOST: sometimes pre-existing book art is scanned at low resolution or is not the right size ratio for a screen
brooks_jones GAINED: Wonderful interactive features CAN aid learning and/or understanding of the story, especially when it’s child-driven
janefarrall Being able to have 300 books with me anywhere anytime is one of the things I love most about ebooks
WeeShare Vocabulary increased when DD is exploring book app alone as she touches pictures & the word is said– can’t be done w/ paper book
MaggeeB all books do not need to be apps; apps should utilize the possibilities of the device, otherwise they can just read the book.
trishpip Loses some of the closeness of story time, snuggling in the lap and relaxing to the sound of parents’ voice.
ddonahoo biggest issue…book apps need better storytellers. IMHO original book apps still don’t match original books
ElectrcEggplant Real books vs. eBooks = false dichotomy. *Anything* that gets kids to read is great!
brooks_jones You can still have snuggle time with apps though, and turn off the voiceover
billvinson I do miss the feel of a book in the hand, but the interactivity & the timelessness of digital makes up for it
Topic 3: Is there an ideal age to introduce this technology to kids? Have your kids used iPads at school?
WeeShare We began sharing it with my daughter when she was 1. She picked it up quickly and now is almost an old pro at many things!
MaggeeB My granddaughter starting using my iPad as soon as she turned TWO! She loves it and I encourage it!
CaseKidsLikeIke I know 2 1/2 and 3 year olds who love it
janefarrall As soon as you would introduce regular books.
trishpip I started my own kids on interactive books on computer as soon as they were able to use a mouse! 18mos-2 yrs
janefarrall Digital storybooks have opened up so many possibilities to the kids I work with – kids with disabilities.
momswithapps Ideal age for technology and kids? That’s a big question and may depend on needs. Ideal methods, are what I like to think about
billvinson my older son didn’t immediately take to a mouse, but touch took no learning at all…he just jumped right in
A4CWSN Ideal age is different 4 all children
Topic 4: What do your kids gain from using digital book apps? Why do you use them?
brooks_jones I guess I look for enrichment above all else (which a good story can do all by itself), then entertainment and education next
janefarrall I’ve started using digital books with interactive whiteboards for guided reading time – awesome!
momswithapps I’m not sure why I use book apps yet, to be honest, which is why I’m SO HAPPY you are talking about this
MaggeeB I love the eBooks that offer the record option. It makes the “reading” of the book more personal to the child.
janefarrall adding your own recordings are great. Good for reading fluency as well as giving kids ownership
STR8EDG In remote locations like mine, these books help, they are instant and interactive. I am trying to get as many kids as possible
mmarianmuffins And engage in fun play–I’ve seen parent and child take on characters’ roles, creating their own dialogue!
STR8EDG our students are all so wired and they all respond so well to technology. I think you have to teach in a medium they get.
Thanks everyone for being part of this discussion. We are very lucky to have so many great friends on Twitter! Stay tuned for our next Twitter party! Find us on Twitter at @OceanhouseMedia and on Facebook