Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
There’s no doubt that technology can help reinforce learning in a fun way but what are kids really learning when they’re using those apps, playing interactive games on a website, or engaging with content on electronic devices? Ruckus Reader, PBS KIDS PLAY!, and Tag Reader provide fabulous experiences that can enrich a child’s learning but also give parents some real feedback about the kinds of things that their kids are learning through play.
Ruckus Reader app for iPad by Ruckus Media Group combines digital storybooks with favorite characters and content from trusted educational partners like PBS for an engaging, educational experience. Designed for preschoolers through second graders, there’s a wealth of content for every learner. The customized user interface provides different reading levels that are appropriate for emergent, beginning and independent readers and parents are provided with a snapshot of their child’s reading progress through the Weekly Reader email. Weekly Reader Meter e-mail reports and an online dashboard provide insight into phonics and word recognition, print awareness, fluency, alphabetic knowledge, sequencing, and story comprehension so you know what your child is learning through play. All results are aligned to Common Core Standards and are in real time so you never have to wait to get the information you need about your child’s learning.
PBS KIDS PLAY is a subscription-based program that customizes the learning experience to your child’s level across 35 different skill areas. The robust exclusive content differs from the free PBS KIDS site because while all content is still aligned to national education standards, PBS KIDS PLAY! automatically adjusts to your child’s skill level based on performance learning achievements and includes 56 exclusive educational games. Multiple accounts can be set up and parents receive a personal progress chart for each child showing the results as they progress through the curriculum. PLAY! also has built-in safety features, including the option to set a time limit.
Tag Reader by LeapFrog is a touch reading system that brings books to life but it is far more sophisticated and portable. Designed for children ages 4-8, Tag is a wireless hand held pen-like device that uses an infrared camera to recognize letters, words, and symbols to make words talk and pictures sing. Tag can also grow with your reader because of the amazing selection of books available that go with the Tag ranging from classics to books featuring favorite characters, nonfiction titles, and maps. LeapFrog also enables parents to see their child’s learning progress through the LeapFrog Learning Path,an online tool that provides information about your child’s reading progress when you connect Tag to your computer. Learning Path allows you to see details like which skills, stories and activities your child is most engaged with. It also tells you when your child has started playing with content above their grade level and see the questions your child has answered during play. This information is incredibly valuable and is similar to what your child’s teacher gathers through daily classroom observations during a reading group or from running records or standardized tests to inform instruction. It allows you to see your child’s progress and make sure they are reading books and engaging in reading activities that are just right for them.
Children playing with tablet at home on sofa via Shutterstock