I continue to find gems in educational apps, and here's a great example - OceanHouse Media's reimagined eBook for Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat ($3.99), and a number of other books too.
While I susspect most of us know the story of The Cat in the Hat, and Dr. Suess’ use of anapestic tetrameter in his writing style to teach the rythem and sounds critical to learning to read, this is all new to children – so is hearing it as it should be read. Right off I am impressed with the use of the option of reading it alone or having it read to you. Any parent or teacher knows the key to teaching solid readings skills is repetition, and while kids need to have their parents, grandparents, etc read to them this app ads another voice so kids get the maximum exposure. The controls in the app are simple and straight forward, you peel the page by swiping your finger from right to left or left to right depending on whether you’re going forward or backward. I also liked the ability to expand vocabulary as you click on various images and get the word for that object. The graphics are of course classic Dr. Seuss.
I would like to point out that if you use the Kindle or Kindle reader app for the iPhone you get an electronic book, which is quite different from this reader. I’d also point out that when I used the Kindle reader for iPhone and did a search for Cat in the Hat, I got a number of responses including hard copy, soft copy, audio copy, etc which I found a bit hard to figure out which I needed for the Kindle platform, but it was the $8.99 that really caught my attention you can see why this app saves and educates.
So far I really can’t find any problems with this app, though I’ve been thinking for this genre of app to really hit home with parents and elementary school teachers there should be; 1) some sort of log of how many times the book was opened, how far one got and or speed the book was read, 2) a short comprehension and or vocabulary quiz, 3) the ability to print that or possibly e-mail these results to a teacher. In this regard this and other apps which are similar could be very useful to Title 1 programs in elementary schools in documenting student progress.