Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Distractions From Classwork

While prolonging writing a paper for class, I was distracted by a blog post my sister sent me about e-books. I don’t have an ipad or e-reader, but something about that blog post made me really interested in the technology being used behind it. Forgetting about my paper, I decided to look at the post in more detail. 

Fast Company Design blog writer, John Pavlus, described a recent children’s e-book that moves beyond simply turning pages to interact with the reader. Pavlus commented that “this is the key to a successful children's book -- inviting them to play and explore and be curious, not just jab buttons to activate cheesy visual effects.” The book, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” is a Moonbot production advertised to be both a story and an animated movie.  Below is a video to preview the app. 

This isn’t the only e-book for kids that is making waves. Rick Broida writer of Cnet.com’s article, 5 amazing iPad e-books for kids” provided other hands-on examples of apps for kids. Among them, Alice in Wonderland and several Dr. Seuss books including The Cat in the Hat.

After viewing the promotion video of Alice in Wonderland I see how entertaining and stimulating reading has become. Though some comments left by buyers felt that these apps lack real interactive qualities, most of the feedback was positive. “I absolutely love the fact that now the limitations of our imaginations (Children's imaginations) are disappearing. I am so excited to now be able to have the words themselves come to life and be able to connect the word with a meaning at the same time. This can help with speed at which we learn to read and the ability to enjoy each and every word (BoyandRedBalloon, 2010).” I believe that e-books have great potential in entertaining as well as educating kids. This could be a fun way to learn how to read.

Here is a link to the free lite-version of Alice in Wonderland through itunes.

Pavlus, J. (2011). An Ex-Pixar Designer Creates Astounding Kids' Book On iPad. Retrieved September 19, 2011, from http://www.fastcodesign.com/1664419/an-ex-pixar-designer-creates-astounding-kids-book-on-ipad

Broida, R. (2010). 5 amazing ipad e-books for kids. CNET Reivews. Retrieved September 19, 2011, from http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-31747_7-20002462-243.html
BoyandRedBalloon. (2010). [Comment to blogpost: 5 amazing ipad e-books for kids]. CNet Reviews. Retrieved September 19, 2011, from http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-31747_7-20002462-243.html


  1. Great post love the video! It makes me want to use it in my classroom! I love e-books and think they are fantastic. My only hesitation is that children won't get the thrill of looking at books. I'm a little weird I guess I feel like kids will be distracted by the "allure" of the iPad and the things that are involved with an e-reader. I think e-readers are a great idea but I wonder if it should be for children that are a little older?

  2. Megan,

    Awesome post. I have been thinking about purchasing an ereader for quite some time, and this post just added to my ereader desire! The animation in the iPad app reminded me of Disney-Pixar studios movies, which are so entertaining, for kids and adults alike. I also love the interaction that involves the reader even more while "reading" the book. But I guess it's not only reading, it's more like, experiencing? What would you call the interaction going on with something like this?

    I think tools like these could be excellent for readers who struggle with comprehension. Especially because I hear of more schools adopting the use of ereaders and tablets in classrooms everyday, I would like to know if this type of ebook is being used in reading recovery activities? I've got to check out your links!

  3. I can see both sides to this. On one hand, I see this turning a child's imagination off. Now this might not be entirely correct because I am sure they gain ideas that they imagine later down the road, but as far as creating their own entire world by themselves through the pages of a book... This may, however, not be any different than having a more amped up picture book. Kids read those all the time and I have never heard of that being negative.

    I think that some students are not motivated to read and this might be an effective consolation prize. I looked at it anyway.

  4. I think this is a very good approach for reading. It is very funny and interactive. If you are able to use this in your classroom, you can mix it with movies or other things.
    We have to take into account that children nowadays are more visual, and this fits in a very good way.

  5. Wow, how fantastic the ebooks are! I don't have an ereader so I haven't noticed that ebook could be so visual powerfully. If I were a child, I would totally get addicted to reading. I guess if we bring this to our natural science classes, the learning process would become lively and interesting, and abstract concept would be easy to understand.

  6. They are wonderful!
    I was fan of reading books and collecting the ones I liked very much. now I have a big library that I can not carry it where I go any more!
    I believe the most difficult part of my study abroad is that I have to say goodbye to my library!
    It's a good lesson for me to buy e-books from now on, and have them anywhere I go!

    I liked the tools you introduced here, it also deals with Gardner's multiple intelligence theory in book disruptive learning.
    I agree Alison in case that this way helps students be engaged in learning with both auditory and visual senses and it would be more effective to teach the students using such tools. What's more, they are attractive too!

  7. I am impressed with how fun and interactive these e-books are - kids have a reason to be excited about reading! Wilson got it right, something we must consider in our educational efforts is that children today are visual learners.

    What purpose are these books intended to fulfill?
    Are we using these books to discourage imagination, or are we using them to assist in developing fundamental reading skills?

    In the endless struggle to facilitate different learning styles, e-books exist as an additional option. As far as I'm concerned, the more options available, the better.

  8. Very entertaining post! It's so amazing to think about the books we grew up with and the "books" they have now. What a fun way to experience a children's story. If this doesn't get kids excited to read, I don't know what will! Thanks for sharing this with us! The educational uses for something like this are endless. This could definitely help liven up a literature lesson!