Children are growing up in a world which looks much different than the one we did. Screen time is a part of their world. The conversation has shifted from if children use screens to discussions about how screen time can be utilized safely for enjoyment and to best support their learning.

So how can parents navigate amongst the 1000’s of reading apps to choose ones that are truly educational? We put together ten questions for you to consider to make the decision less daunting.

  • Is the reading app appropriate for your child’s age?
  • Are the activities and games designed so your child can use them independently
  • Is the language and context age-appropriate?
  • Are there advertisements and in-app purchases that may disrupt the learning
  • Does the app link to social networks?
  • Is there any access to feedback for you to learn about your child’s reading progress?
  • Do you see evidence your child is learning from the reading app?
  • Does your child take their learning off-screen?
  • Is the purpose of the reading app clear?
  • Does the app build on your child’s skills?

On her blog Playground Confidential, Rebecca Cuneo Keenan asked,“What separates Ooka Island from other educational programs and games that claim to help early readers?”

Our co-founder Dr. Kay MacPhee answered:

“In Ooka Island, the 44 sounds of the English language are taught explicitly so that a child can learn not only to identify each sound but be able to do so automatically (within milliseconds), and use these sounds automatically in reading tasks such as blending, reading, and spelling.

At the same time, reading must be introduced early on in the learn-to-read process too. There are 85 books built into Ooka Island and they purposefully use a child’s natural language. They are written in a conversational style so that children realize that the print is the same as the oral language they would use in a similar situation. The text becomes ‘alive’ which helps make the transition from oral language to print so that they are able to read fluently.”

Our reading app is educational and scientifically proven, sign up for a free trial today.


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