Monday, November 5, 2012

Educational iPad Apps: Literacy

I was given an iPad as a sort of welcome into my Masters program and,
understandably, they would like for us to get to know them intimately and discover all of the wonderful ways we can incorporate them into our classrooms.  

I have been installing educational apps and playing around with them. Because there are so so many apps out there, even just within the realm of education, I have decided to keep my focus on just one area of interest at a time. This time around I was hunting for the best literacy apps. Keep in mind that my focus is also on elementary education, although some of these are applicable to many age levels.


Here is a short list of great apps that promote literacy:

What I love:
It teaches the how AND the why of the writing process.
It takes emphasis away from grammar and spelling - great for beginning writers.
It uses art and other visual inspiration to channel creativity.
Well designed, in-depth, and tons of vocabulary.

What I love:
Separates activities into three age ranges: 0-6, 7-12, & 13+
There are 270 poems by poets such as T. S. Elliot, Lewis Carrol, or William Shakespeare.
You can search poetry by author, title, or subject.
You can record your own voice reading a favorite poem.
While reading or writing poetry, you can click an unfamiliar word to get the definition.
The illustrations: think modern winnie-the-pooh.

What I love:
It's Montessori-based. 
I can see the wheels turning in my little 2.5-year-old :)
Helps hone fine motor skills with the touch-and-drag activities.
I love that you can select one of three artists who designed the graphics, what a cute touch.
I have yet to see such a functional app quite as streamlined and aesthetically appealing.

4. bookabi

What I love:
It's free!
Kids can create their own storybooks, with their own voice.
You can use the stock characters and images, but you can also upload your own images!
Promotes creativity and a love for telling stories.
Promotes the idea of sharing final products.

What I love:
Again, Montessori-based.
It teaches phonemic awareness & phonics memorization.
You can choose a sound category to focus on (long "a," "k," etc.)
Your child can grow with this app from the earliest stages of letter recognition.


The thinking behind many of these apps is that students will take responsibility for their own learning and have fun learning to read and write. From a teacher's or parent's perspective, you could absolutely use these apps to have kids create poetry, a cartoon, engage in creative writing, or form the basic building blocks of reading and writing. 

I will continue my search in other subjects; math, spelling, & science are next on the agenda. 
Posts to follow.

What educational apps are you and your little ones/students using currently?


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