Points

  • Ages between 4-11
  • App for smartphone and tablet
  • Catalogue of books to choose from
  • It will be interactive, fun and colourful
  • Simple illustrations with animation
  • Based on traditional books, poems and tales
  • The user contributes to the story and makes decisions
  • Concept is similar to Choose Your Own Adventure books

I will focus on children as young as possible as this is prime time to begin an understanding in reading and an interest for books, the earlier the better.

An app once downloaded can be used anywhere without Internet connection. Preferably to be used with a tablet for its larger screen size. The user could be reading on holiday, in the car or even at home, literally anywhere. If I were to create a website, then the user would be more restricted. If I had more time I would also create a website alongside the app.

A catalogue of books means the user is not only stuck with one book. A variety of books will be better in keeping the child constantly learning. I am not sure how many books I will begin with as i’m not sure how long each will take to complete. I think starting off with six will be a nice number, but if I have time I will most definitely do more.

Having the books colourful and interactive I hope will keep the child entertained. Also simple illustrations and animations again for the same reason. I believe that making things too complicated will not suit children and they may become disengaged. I will do research to assure that what I do will not be from my opinion, but of the needs of my consumers.

I believe having the books loosely based on traditional text will help engage the child as they will recognise sections which may interest and entice them to read further. Having the child make decisions throughout the book will make them feel part of it, and will hopefully assure the user is entertained by the books so much that they want to carry on reading and entice them to read more.

Love-the-books

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The idea

The idea is to create an educational mobile app for primary school children. The app would portray a catalogue of books, all loosely based on traditional examples, such as poems and nursery rhymes. This can hopefully guarantee that many of the children who would be using the application will already be familiarised with the texts and scripts. Taking the main plot from the stories, poems and rhymes would also assist me in writing my own personalised narratives. Unlike a traditional book however, these books will allow you to interact with them, the user makes decisions after each few pages, which will guide the user through different adventures. The user could ultimately have a story with a different ending and experience, compared to someone else reading the exact same book. Hopefully these books will appeal to my target audience, and engage with them so that they take full advantage of what literacy can do for their education. Having the children control the books they read hopefully will entice them to read more and more. The aim is to get more children to read.

I have researched and there is nothing out there like this, there are interactive books but nothing for children where the user dictates the result of the book.

After research

After researching I have learnt that there is an actual problem with children’s learning ability in the last few years, and so I have decided to create an educational application for children.Through research I have learnt that from recent years test results and IQ’s have been on a gradual decrease, especially literacy skills. I believe that focusing my project on something in which solves a problem will help me to answer the brief in a better way.

Nicholas Carr (2010)  claims that children’s literacy skills have been on the decrease since the rise of the Internet. He suggests that the Internet has impacted on peoples lives that they no longer have to urge to read a book, he also suggests that the Internet is full of distractions, and it has the ability to effect a persons concentration levels.

“scores on the verbal portions of the test declined significantly. The average critical-reading score fell 3.3 percent…writing-skills score dropped an even steeper 6.9 percent…Literacy reading aptitude suffered the largest decline, dropping twelve percent”.

Child Literacy in 2012, an online article expresses that reading difficulties in the UK is a serious issue, around a third of children in London schools leave without the capacity to read and write. They state that people with weak literacy skills expect to earn 11% less than people with satisfactory knowledge. Reading stories also increases an individuals creative skills and imagination.

Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown (2013) explains the importance of reading at a young age, they claim that individuals who read for pleasure do much better than those who don’t, they state that having good literacy skills also helps overall knowledge in all subjects. Reading is essential to a child’s development.

From this I have decided to focus my idea on education for children, focusing on literacy. Something that would interest children in reading and help in carry on doing so.

Nicholas Carr, 2010. The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember. 

Lets Get Reading, 2012. Child Literacy in the UK: http://www.letsgetreading.com/child-literacy-in-the-uk/.

Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown, 2013. Social inequalities in cognitive scores at age 16: The role of reading.

Teaching kids to code

The idea is to create something that mixes aspects of both Xcode 6 playground and Codeacademy. The technology would help children to learn to code. Code while you design, coding on one side with the result on the other side. For example the user could interact with a bouncing ball, they could simply change variables, like aspects of gravity etc. Hopscotch and Move the turtle are two already existing educational applications that teach children to code.

swift-playground

Two

After doing some research and talking to uni tutors, I have narrowed my ideas from four to two, now I will do further research to find out what problems are out there that need solving, and how successful I could be in reaching the targets I set.

The two ideas:

Coding – teaching children to code, there are less technologies available for children to learn code. This idea would be a website which can be used on a computer or mobile device. I would try to make it as fun as possible.

Education – there are many applications which already deal with subject specific topics, I think possibly narrowing down to teaching children as well as people who want to improve their grammar, punctuation and overall literacy.