Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

7 Ways to Encourage Kids to Read

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Cute little girl and boy reading a bedtime story

In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we put together this list of 7 tips to promote a love of reading today and for the rest of the year!

1) Set a good example
Modeling good reading habits is essential to helping your kids understand the importance of reading. Let your kids see you reading, and how much you enjoy it. If your kids are older, share what you read and what you have gained from reading a good book. Keep lots of reading material- books, magazines, colorful catalogs, etc- around the house and in reach.

2) Read with your kids, every night
Set aside a special time every day to read with your kids. Read for at least 30 minutes, and try to introduce them to as many new stories and concepts as possible. Don’t stop at just reading the book- talk about the pictures, characters, storylines or anything else to keep them thinking and engaged. Sharing this enjoyment with your kids will help inspire a love of reading at an early age.

3) Visit the library once a week
Get your kids their own library card and get in the habit of visiting the library once a week. Spend some time reading books together at the library and let them pick out their own books to take home. Make your library visits special and something everyone looks forward to each week.

4) Give the gift of reading17891448_xxl
Does your kid have a birthday or any other gift-giving occasion coming up? Give them books- or ask others to give them books- as a gift! Books received as a gift will be cherished more, especially if they come from an important person in your kids’ lives. You could also allow them to pick out a few digital book apps to download as a gift!

5) Look for books your kids will love
Kids are far more likely to enjoy reading if they read about something that sparks their interest. Find out what captivates your kids and pick titles that will keep their attention. If your kids are into dinosaurs, build a collection of dinosaur books. As your kids get older, let them select books they are excited about, or find a series they love and want to continue reading. Subscribe to children’s magazines that are fun and interesting for your kids to read.

6) Read digital book apps
Do you have a reluctant reader who loves technology? Load up an iPad with a collection of digital book apps and start developing good reading habits with interactive content. Digital book apps can also be a more effective way to enhance literacy and build vocabulary- every omBook includes highlighted narration plus tappable words and pictures to improve reading skills.

7) Make reading fun!
Above all, reading should be fun! Read with enthusiasm, use funny voices, act out scenes- anything to keep your kids laughing and having fun. Always suggest reading as a leisure activity, avoid using it as a punishment, and be sure to foster fond memories of reading together as a family.

How do you get your kids to read? Share with us in a comment below!


PadGadget Interview with Michel Kripalani

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Oceanhouse Media’s President Michel Kripalani recently sat down with PadGadget to discuss the Dr. Seuss apps and the significance of the iPad for children’s book apps. Below is an excerpt.

Behind the App with Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani

Children’s book app developer Oceanhouse Media is well-known to iPad owners for their cutting edge digital — yet still faithful-to-print — versions of the Berenstain Bears, Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter series, and, of course, Dr. Seuss for iOS. If a reader wants to own Green Eggs and Hamor any of Dr. Seuss’ other classic titles on her iPad, she’s only going to find it as an omBook.

Company President Michel Kripalani shared his thoughts on how his company partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, how to know when an apps has enough bells and whistles, and where the iPad will be in 5 years.

(PadGadget): Oceanhouse Media is well-known as the developer who brought Dr. Seuss to iOS. How did the relationship between OM and the Dr. Seuss estate develop?

(OceanHouse Media): As a UC San Diego graduate, I had an affiliation with the UCSD Geisel Library (named after Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) and was able to secure an introduction to Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 2009. From there, we had to pitch why Dr. Seuss would be great on an iPhone (the iPad had not yet been announced). Thankfully, they saw our vision. In the Fall of 2009 they gave us the approval to develop our first digital book app based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Its success led to us further partnering with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring all 44 classic Dr. Seuss titles to the app market. Over the last three years, we’ve developed over 40 Dr. Seuss apps including classic books, short stories, book collections, cameras and games, including the best-selling Dr. Seuss Band musical instrument game app.

To read the entire interview, visit PadGadget.

 


Oceanhouse Media’s President Michel Kripalani 
Named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Semi-finalist in San Diego

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Oceanhouse Media, Inc. is excited to announce that its president, Michel Kripalani, is a semi-finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award in the San Diego region. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Finalists will be named in May, with awards being presented at a special gala on June 13, 2013 at the Hyatt Aventine in La Jolla, Calif.

“I’m honored to be selected as a semi-finalist for this distinguished award,” said Michel. “As a serial entrepreneur, this is definitely wonderful inspiration for me, both on the professional and personal front.”

Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award recognizes the significant contributions of entrepreneurs who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. Now in its 27th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Michael Dell of Dell Inc., Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of FedEx, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Richard Schulze of Best Buy, Andrew Mason of Groupon, Mindy Grossman of HSN, Inc., Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, and many more.

For more information on the San Diego semi-finalists, please visit http://www.ey.com/US/en/Newsroom/News-releases/Ernst—Young-LLP-announces-Entrepreneur-Of-The-Year-R–semifinalists-in-San-Diego.

 

Michel Kripalani, president of Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

Michel Kripalani, president of Oceanhouse Media.


Tips on Encouraging Kids to Read in the Digital Age

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

This article is reposted with permission from The Digital Media Diet, the blog for Digital-Storytime.com, featuring articles about kids, technology and the digital publishing industry sprouting up around digital children’s books.

By Michel Kripalani, President, Oceanhouse Media

“The more that you read,

the more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

the more places you’ll go.”

— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!

Dr. Seuss was right. Reading opens up our minds to new experiences and knowledge. For children, it can be a magical time. Today’s story telling has taken on a new dimension with the introduction of books on digital devices. Kids can now interact with stories, touching the screen and exploring the different features a particular book app has to offer.

If you have a reluctant reader, encouraging them to read can be a bit of a challenge. So can finding the right level of interactivity in children’s book apps so that it doesn’t distract from the reading experience. Parents, myself included, want to have their child immersed in the story for the right reasons.

There are added benefits to reading on a digital device. Interactivity, when used the right way, can be helpful for a number of kids, from beginning and reluctant readers to English language learners. For instance, if a child is stuck on a word, they can tap the screen and have the word repeated until they are able to pronounce it.

So how do we encourage kids to read in the digital age? Creating good literacy habits starts young and to ensure that children have a wonderful reading experience, here are 10 helpful tips on keeping reading fun and educational in the digital medium.

  • Simple navigation. Select apps that are easy to use to ensure an enjoyable reading experience. Avoid apps that have complex navigation or numerous features and instructions that may frustrate young kids.
  • Co-Reading. Parent and child interaction is key, as was recently noted in a Joan Ganz Cooney Center Study on print books vs. e-books. It’s best to have parents by their kid’s side when reading on device. Ask your child questions about what is happening in the story and encourage them to be playful and explore during reading time.
  • Limit “bells and whistles.” Keep interactivity to a minimum. Look for book apps that maintain the integrity of the story and create a reading experience that most closely resembles reading stories in a traditional book format. Stay away from titles that embed superfluous puzzles and games if they distract from the story and hinder reading comprehension. When selecting a book app, ask yourself if the features in the app are there to enhance the literacy aspect of the title. Avoid interactive features that take your child out of the narrative and off of the page to interact.
  • Reading options. Look for apps that include different reading modes which lets your child choose how they’d like to read the story. In addition to reading with their parents, can your child have the option to have the story read to them by a narrator or choose to read it on their own? Key features to look for in book apps for emergent readers include picture/word association, word highlighting and the ability to touch an individual word and hear it pronounced.
  • Make it a ritual. Set aside a special time to read together (i.e. before naptime). Turn off the T.V. and phone and dedicate the time to reading only. Establishing a routine sends a message to your child that reading is important.
  • Build on interests. Look for topics that are interesting to your child when selecting book apps. For example, focus on activities or hobbies that are most appealing to your child in order to find stories that will appeal them. From sports and dancing to animals and science, there’s an app for that.
  • Remember to have fun! Encourage your child to be inquisitive while reading, taking advantage of the touchscreen technology and the added benefits of digital reading. Taking turns reading the story aloud and acting out the different characters can make reading that more fun, especially for a reluctant reader.
  • Model good reading habits. Have your child see you use your digital device to read as well. You’re your child’s best role model. Take time out of each day to show your child that you enjoy reading too. Tell them what you like to read.
  • Look for the classics. Check out beloved stories that have been teaching kids to read for decades. Is there a story you enjoyed reading as a child? Chances are there’s an app for that now. You’ll have a great time revisiting your childhood favorite stories while introducing the digital versions to your child.
  • Build your digital library together. Involve your child in selecting which book apps to load on their device. To guide you through this process, take a look at resources such as Digital Storytime, KinderTown, Moms With Apps, Common Sense Media, Children’s Technology Review, Parents’ Choice and Kirkus Reviews for their recommendations. These resources can help guide you to age-appropriate reading material. You can also visit your local library and see what tablets they have available preloaded with recommended age-appropriate book apps for your child.

With more than 650,000 apps on the App Store and 500,000 on the Android Market, there is no shortage of book apps available for children. Feed your kids a good diet of the right book apps and they’ll be inspired to be lifelong readers in the digital age.