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Teach Reading to Younger Students Using Classroom iPads

Engage younger students in reading with classroom iPads and e-books. Teachers may ask if using iPads for reading education is “right”. However, if students are enjoying reading, most educators would answer, “Does it really matter if an iPad is being used?” Most teachers would vote for an extra hour a day reading instead of more time wasted with a mindless video game.

Some children love the perks that come with reading e-books. Some of the common features include

  • Interactivity: Touch objects, and they react. Turn your iPad, and things move.

  • Dictionary: Touch words, and their definitions pop up.

  • Audio and soundtracks: Characters talk. Background music plays. Sound effects play as events occur in the book.

  • Read aloud feature: Younger children can have the book read to them, as can those who have visual problems.

  • Language options: Select the language for text and/or audio.

  • Recording: Record yourself reading the text and play it back as the audio narration later.

  • Games and activities: Coloring pages, puzzles, and more are often included in the books.

It’s difficult to keep up with the rush of new digital books (or electronic books, known as e-books) being released for younger readers. The range of options is expanding rapidly as new e-books are being released. The most common terms associated with digital books are e-books and e-pubs, e-book apps, and book subscriptions.

E-books for younger students with iPads

E-books and e-pubs are essentially the same, and it’s more a question of which e-reader (electronic device for reading e-books and other digital documents) you use with them. E-books are available from the iBookstore, which delivers them directly to the iBooks app on your iPad.

There are also a variety of other e-readers and e-reading apps for the iPad such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and more that can be used for reading e-books from other sources.

iBookstore has a Children and Teens section. You can also access the list of best-selling books by tapping the Top Charts icon in the bottom toolbar of the iBookstore and selecting the Children and Teens category. Any book that you purchase is automatically added to your e-books library and available on other iOS devices you may own.

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If you tap the Top Charts icon in the bottom toolbar of the iBookstore and select the Children and Teens category, you’ll see the top sellers divided into Top Paid Books and Top Free Books. It’s an excellent way to find a wealth of good, free e-books for your studeto read.

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Book apps for younger students with iPads

Many book publishers prefer the flexibility of creating their own book apps. Book apps function in much the same way as the books you read in iBooks; however, in creating their own apps, publishers are free to use additional functionality outside the framework of the regular e-book or e-pub formats.

Book apps aren’t read within an e-reader such as iBooks. Instead, they function as apps and are purchased through the App Store. For example, you’ll find the book, Al Gore - Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, by Push pop Press, in the App Store and not the iBookstore.

It opens as its own app — not within an e-reader. Pick objects up and move them around, pinch to open and zoom around images, and interact with objects such as windmills that simulate the generation of power when you blow into the iPad microphone!

The quality of many of these book apps is outstanding. You’ll find them listed in the Books section of the App Store. They feature beautiful musical soundtracks, top-quality narration, and amazing illustrations and effects. You’ll find reviews of these books all over the web, and even institutions such as The New York Times now occasionally feature reviews of e-books and book apps.

The list of quality books is too long to mention, but if you want a sampling of what’s out there, consider the following book apps:

  • The Three Little Pigs, by Nosy Crow: Featuring excellent graphics and sounds, this book is an excellent choice for younger readers. It tells the traditional tale of the Three Little Pigs . . . with a few twists.

    It offers lots of interactive surprises on every page and sophisticated animations, and you can listen to the story narrated by children or read it yourself. One of the highlights of the book is that you can help the wolf blow down the houses by blowing into the iPad’s microphone!

  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by Moonbot Studios: This beautifully designed book app is based on a story by William Joyce that was also an award-winning animated short film. The animation sequences in the book are stunning, and the interactive elements will keep the reader entertained and engaged.

    The story revolves around a man infatuated with books. One day, he’s blown away in a storm and finds himself in a remote country house filled with books. It’s a poignant story about the power of books and the people who love to read them.

    The book is also filled with games that children will love, such as spelling in a bowl of alphabet cereal and playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” on a piano.

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  • Unwanted Guest, by Moving Tales: This stunning book is adapted from a traditional Jewish folk tale. It tells the story of a poor old man living in an old, dilapidated house. He’s visited by an unwelcome houseguest, and the story details his attempts to rid himself of his surprising visitor.

    This book is beautifully produced. The illustrations are gorgeous, and it also includes sophisticated 3-D animations, original music, professional narration, and sound effects. It’s a book that children and adults alike will enjoy.

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