E-Book Apps

For more than six months, I have been looking at e-book apps that suit the K-12 curriculum.  Many e-books are not as engaging as you would think, given the potential of the technology.

There have been a couple of standouts.  Although expensive, the cost could be rationalized by potential student engagement.  In this first case, we are considering student engagement and Shakespeare!  The Cambridge University Press app Explore Shakespeare allows downloading of the play with many add-ons.  In additionimages to full text and complete audio performance, glossaries, word cloud explanations and synopses are also included.  For less than the hard copy book ($7.99), a student has access to so much more information and interesting ways to reflect on an assigned Shakespeare play.

Our Choice is Al Gore’s non-fiction contribution to the climate change discussion. It is noteworthy because of the variety of information embedded within the app. Animations, documentary clips, interactive graphics, and maps are all linked to this e-book. The imgresphotography is exceptional and the subject area crosses many curriculum areas.

And, although I had a hard time coming to terms with this app’s bad timing, I am going forward in my recommendation.  Sherlock: Interactive Adventure begins with The Red Headed League and, along with the story, adds 3D type visuals, mysterious facts, and music. I downloaded the free app which allows access only to a portion of the story.  Although I know the story, the app asks you to pay for the rest of it at a pivotal point, of course.  I was upset that it didn’t just ask me to pay up front for the complete story.  It is worth it.

Finally, I am recommending this one, mostly, because of the story. Gary’s Place, written by Rick Walton, tells the story of Gary who moves from his parent’s quaint home and begins to build his “dream home.”  Did I mention Gary is a gopher? Interesting visuals provides for a reader’s genuine interest in what Gary is doing.  He builds his way to (spoiler alert) disaster.

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Keep in mind that e-book apps need more memory than a normal app.  Check this before deciding on a bulk purchase.

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