December 6th , 2022


Boli Elliot

2 months ago


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2 months ago

What to look for in early literacy apps

Phonemic awareness and “ABC” apps 

1. Are sounds pronounced and represented with letters accurately? Watch out for distorted sounds. When two consonants combine to represent one sound, such as sh, ch, or ng, some apps try to isolate the sounds of the individual letters, sneaking in an extra sound to represent the second letter. Children need to learn that the letter combinations sh, th, wh, ch, and ng make single sounds, which they can recognize in the words they hear every day.

2. Does the app confuse things as it tries to simplify? For example, some apps will try to simplify things by producing only one sound for the letter a. This will cause confusion. For example, the letter a sound in at is not the same as the sound for the a in the word all.

3. Does the app give children opportunities to hear words and see models of how language is used? Rhyming, for example, is an important early literacy skill, but some apps expect children to demonstrate this skill without first hearing examples of rhyming words. Some apps that claim to teach rhyming have children drag pictures of rhyming words together without allowing them to hear the words pronounced.

Story apps

Are the story’s characters culturally and ethnically diverse and does the story include experiences that reflect today’s diverse families?

Does the app include accurate information and grammatically-correct content?

Does the app include meaningful interactive elements that maintain the story’s flow and add to the story instead of being only for interactivity’s sake?

Are read-to-me and read-to-myself options available, allowing families to read and listen together? (Narration should be well-spoken and expressive.)

Does the app’s content encourage children and adults (or siblings or peers) to read and talk together about what they are seeing and reading?

Education is the Key