Archive for April, 2011

Oceanhouse Media Apps Now on the NOOK Color!

Friday, April 29th, 2011

This week, Barnes and Noble announced that their reader’s tablet, the NOOK Color, will now support apps. This is especially exciting for us because our Dr. Seuss omBook, “The Cat in the Hat,” is featured in their new Read Forever™ TV commercial!

Oceanhouse Media apps are now available on:

Apple’s App Store

Google’s  Android Market

Amazon’s Android App Store

And now you can purchase directly from your NOOK Color tablet!

Happy reading!!

 


“Generation App” Twitter Party Highlights

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

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

 

 

 

 


Celebrate Earth Day with “The Lorax”

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day this Friday with the story of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. In his unique and brilliant style, Dr. Seuss communicates a serious message of environmental ruin through the eyes of his delightful and endearing characters. The caring Lorax, who speaks for the trees, warns of the impending destruction of the Truffula Tree forest, but his pleas are no match for the old Once-ler’s insatiable greed. And so the Truffula Trees disappear and their inhabitants scatter. The only hope that remains is a single Truffula Tree seed…

Plant and care for this seed in the children’s game, Lorax Garden, and help re-grow the world’s Truffula Tree forests, one seed at a time! Design your trees, water and care for them, and then maybe, just maybe, the Swomee-Swans, the Brown Bar-ba-loots, and the Lorax will come back! As a special Earth Day present, you can download Lorax Garden FREE, for one day!

Join our Earth Day celebration on Facebook, where we’ll be hosting app giveaways for some of our favorite earth-friendly stories!!

“SO…

Catch!” calls the Once-ler.

He lets something fall.

“It’s a Truffula Seed.

It’s the last one of all!

Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.

Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.

Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.

Then the Lorax

and all of his friends

may come back.”

– The Lorax by Dr. Seuss


Twitter Party: Generation App

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Join Oceanhouse Media for our first in a series of Twitter parties to discuss the world of children’s digital book apps! This Wednesday, April 20th, 4pm PST.

Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about this new generation of children’s books. The good, the not so good, and the wouldn’t it be cool if… So let’s keep this conversation going. We want to hear from you! Share your experiences using digital book apps with your kids! Which interactive features do you value most? Do certain interactive features distract children or engage them? What is a good balance? What do you think is lost or gained in transitioning children’s books from print to digital?

Generation App” is all about how our kids are interacting with these classic stories in a new medium. Touch screen devices are rapidly finding their way into the hands of children, both at home and in the classroom. Let’s talk about what this means for our new generation of readers and how we can help them get the most out of this technology. Join Oceanhouse Media as we explore the world of digital reading through the eyes of Generation App!

Generation App Twitter Party Details:
Who: Everyone is welcome!
What: A thoughtful discussion of children’s digital book apps
Where: Twitter! (Use Tweetdeck, Tweetgrid, Tweetchat, Hootsuite etc.)
When: Wednesday, April 20th, 4pm PST
Hashtag: Follow and post with #OMappchat

Follow Oceanhouse Media on Twitter @Oceanhousemedia

See you at the party!… Did I mention we’ll be giving away promo codes? Including some for this week’s new app release!

RSVP below with your Twitter username!

Don’t know what a Twitter Party is? Check out Tweeparties.com for an overview!