by Holly Fink, Ruckus Media Staff Marketing Specialist
Last night we gathered with our friends, both new and old, on Twitter for a lively discussion about two of our favorite topics: Apps and Literacy. Based on the amount of people who came, we aren’t the only ones who care passionately that apps and literacy go hand in hand. Everyone at the party agreed that it’s the story that rules and that story apps are very good for teaching literacy skills and that schools are slowly but surely bringing them into the classrooms.
Here are some highlights of the night's conversation:
Q1: Do you think that apps can improve reading skills and increase reading comprehension?
@FunAppsForKids I might start by suggesting that in general, story apps, book apps, reading, writing apps- are simply good for literacy!
@PaulWHankins App could work as in-road to differentiation. Good readers interact with print in way technology has not imagined.
@katmeis My son's middle school is looking into engaging kids in reading through social reading apps.
@SavvyMomNYC An interactive tool helps a young reader focus and creates an enjoyable fun experience.
@winanci definitely, tried it with my daughter, we're non-native english speakers, but apps can help us.
Q2: What questions should be asked when figuring out whether one app or another is the best possible selection for that child sitting on your lap?
@iPodsibilities Can they record themselves reading and play back to improve fluency?
@theiPhonemom ability to integrate other skills in the app - counting, colors, etc. through interactivity and games.
@aaallain I think age, reading level, and interest are important.
@harmonicmama I always like to find out if it's dynamic enough to hold their attention.
@SavvyMomNYC Is it quality literature? Age appropriate? Is it leveled for a struggling reader.
@PaulWHankins Can the app connect the reader to further works of interest?
Q3: Are there specific ways to integrate ebook apps in the learning environment to create meaningful educational experiences?
@SavvyMomNYC iPads could support center small group learning while the teacher works with other students.
@iPodsibilities Combine w/ older mentor 2 model good reading, play Pass the iPad 4 roundtable reading, independent reading centers.
@SavvyMomNYC iPads could support center learning in small groups while the teacher works with other students.
@aaallain I still have parent-child interaction using apps! It just provides a different venue for learning.
@eBookNoir phonics, early readers vocab, variety of ways.
Q4: Do you think animated story apps can benefit reluctant readers?
@soulfliesfree yes i think the illustrations are a great incentive to read and uses another part of your brain.
@theiPhonemom Curious to see! My toddler is growing up w/apps. Shall see how her vocab develops compared to my older kids.
@VectoringMomma Definitely, gives them characters and stories in a cool way!
@iPodsibilities Coolness factor is important 2 note in world of SpEd- it isn't only the young ones that r learning 2 read.
@cwilson82985 Apps def increase vocabulary. It helped my son.
@StrollerBallet Animation = engagement! Of course we must acknowledge that aspect!
@aallain As much as I promote technology, I do believe in a balance between hands-on on tech-driven education.
@lovelimes I think they can benefit reluctant readers by making reading fun and interesting.
Q5 Have you ever used a read and record feature on an app? How was the experience?
@katmeis Just thinking I might use record function so that when I travel I can still read to my daughter. Cool!
@iPodsibilities Love to hear how families are recording stories to share with loved ones when they can't be there.
@cwilson82985 We recorded my brother reading a story. He is leaving for Afghanistan.
@HeiddiZ We used to have this same discussion in undergrad about using calculators in math.
@PaulWHankins Concern--reluctant readers might become passive patrons. Books become Digital Domino's (delivery only).
@lovelimes I love it for that option. I also love that you can have Grandma (or someone else) record the story!
Q6: Do you support apps used as a tool to aid special education students? Bilingual students?
@iPodsibilities Apps can be crucial tools for students with disabilities! Providing adaptive tech in an acceptable way.
@aaallain Yes! Apps are a great way to engage learners and provide an alternative learning environment.
@Arianah_00 I think it would be a great tool for bilingual students...or to learn another language.
@katmeis Many spec. ed students can't hold pencils. Drawing apps=amazing tools. I'd love to see this merged w/ a reading app.
@PaulWHankins Not only a tool, but as an element of their Individualized Education Plan. If it helps, employ the tool.
@CarrieWChildren Yes! My 6mo DD has #downsyndrome and I've read raving reviews about apps for them!
@katmeis many spec. ed students can't hold pencils. Drawing apps=amazing tools. I'd love to see this merged w/ a reading app.
Stay tuned for another Ruckus Media Twitter Party in February. The topic will be "Apps and Autism".