As IEAR app reviewers, we sometimes stumble across an app that just oozes of potential but isn’t there quite yet. With a $14.99 price tag, Pictello, from AssistiveWare packs quite a punch with its unique opportunity to create and publish visual stories. However, IEAR app reviewers can’t help but notice there are some critical features that are missing from the app at this time. Meg Wilson (@ipodsibilities) and Jeremy Brueck (@brueckj23) share their educational insights into the positive features of the app, provide possible areas of classroom application, share their Pictello story codes and point out some places where they hope to see Pictello grow in future releases and updates.

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Resources from my two teacher in-service PD sessions today.


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TumbleBooks Library, a collection of e-books suitable for children in pre-kindergarten to grade twelve, has recently released a Facebook app. From @TumbleBooks:

As of February 25, 2011, you can access TumbleBooks via their classic browser-based model, by purchasing and downloading mobile apps and now through Facebook. A quick look at this free app reveals:

  • Access eText in the following formats: Audiobooks, EBooks, Read Alongs and TumbleBooks.
  • Sort by Title and Author.
  • Preloaded library of a variety of eBooks.
  • Ability to SHOP and add new titles to the MY SHELF section of the app.
  • Post reviews, comments and recommends to your Facebook wall.
  • Invite your Facebook friends to the app.

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e-Books will likely be a part of future early childhood classrooms, and in light of the thin evidence base on their role in curriculum and instruction, we undertook a formative study to investigate what e-book pedagogy for early literacy might look like in the early childhood classroom [1]. We approached our research from a design perspective—much like an engineer—creating a prototype model for implementation in the classroom and testing it to begin a winnowing process that informs the educational design (e-books in preschool for purposes of early literacy instruction) and identifies design features that are feasible and preferable in an instructional model [2, 3].

At this early stage of prototype creation, we conceptualized an e-book instructional model that was purposefully under-specified to allow a wide-angle view of what it takes and what happens when e-book technology is inserted into the preschool classroom. The model consists of four components grounded in e-book studies [4] and the knowledge base on early literacy instruction for young children [5]:

  • The e-book as a technology-mediated environment
  • The physical place of e-book reading in the classroom
  • Engagement in e-book reading for small groups and individuals
  • Explicit instruction using e-books

Our research objectives were to observe, define the salient attributes and rate the functioning of each component in situ toward the goal of framing a model for replication and further testing. To this purpose we employed a qualitative approach that focused on sorting, clustering and aggregating observational data to derive quality indicators and design features.

The following is a brief overview of some of the data collected during Phase 2 of our 2010-2011 study.


Today is the official launch of, the educational media network, a collaboration by educators from all over the United States.

Why EdReach?

Do we really need another Educational blog? There are so many others out there- aren’t there enough?

Well, that is true, there are a lot of voices out there. So many voices. So many, it seems that it’s getting harder and harder to hear them, harder to cut through the volume and rate of information, harder to even keep up with well-known colleagues, and harder to be heard. aims to cut through this.

The EdReach Educational Media Network ( aims to gather these voices together, and create one stream of educational news, blogs, commentary, and interactive media that highlights the innovation, highlights the ideas, highlights the cutting-edge best practices that are happening in the world’s schools every day. Read the rest of this entry…


Towards an e-Book Quality Rating Tool for Early Elementary Literacy Instruction
Jeremy Brueck (@brueckj23)
I was thrilled to find out that Jeremy Brueck is from Ohio.  His research is critical to the things I have been thinking about lately. I haven’t found many people who are really looking at ebooks for young children and learned so much from this session.  Jeremy Brueck is focused on not only rating ebooks but also to understanding what this means for young children and literacy. Although he stated early that he did not come at this from a literacy background at first, he has a strong sense of young children and their literacy development.   We spent time in this session examining ebooks on several iPads and iPods that Jeremy brought. We discussed the things that made them worthwhile, etc.  He shared several resources and much of the work he was doing with local Head Start programs there.  His presentation and resources are on his blog. Resources included an e-book Quality Rating Tool, a List of Early Elementary ebooks iOS Apps and more.  I hope to spend a great deal of time exploring these resources over the next several weeks.

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This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.

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Why Raised Digital?

Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.