Recent Articles

A New Digital Divide? Production Costs vs Consumer Awareness in New Media Publications for Children – Guest Post by Allison Pomenta

A New Digital Divide? Production Costs vs Consumer Awareness in New Media Publications for Children – Guest Post by Allison Pomenta

| February 18, 2014 | 12 Comments

Several years ago, I met Allison Pomenta when she was still developing her storybook app, Axel’s Chain Reaction. Her app is a terrific indie title and recently shortlisted  as a finalist for the Digital Book Awards. Allison is talented, outspoken and quick to offer her experience with new media in the wild-west of digital publishing. […]

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Six Lessons from the App Industry: An Interview with Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani

Six Lessons from the App Industry: An Interview with Oceanhouse Media President Michel Kripalani

| February 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

Among the most innovative, educationally-sound and prolific developers in the book app
 space is a company that is also one of my favorite to work with as a reviewer and blogger. What follows is a thoughtful and informative interview with the forward-thinking president of Oceanhouse Media, Michel Kripalani. Being first and best in a market this […]

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The 5 Types of Free Apps and How to Find Them

The 5 Types of Free Apps and How to Find Them

| January 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

This post is an excerpt from a collaborative guest post, with Claudia Haines in the wonderful blog, Little eLit (http://littleelit.com). Little eLit provides librarians and literacy advocates with thoughtful articles, reviews and technical resources from a large pool of talented contributors. Claudia is the “Curation Coordinator” for Little eLit and a Youth Services Librarian at the Homer Public […]

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Take Five for Family Engagement: Great Puzzle Apps to Share With Kids 4-10+

Take Five for Family Engagement: Great Puzzle Apps to Share With Kids 4-10+

| January 8, 2014 | 3 Comments

This is a new series we’re starting off for 2014 – a quick list of five apps, websites, tech tools or other resources for the digital age to help families connect, balance and nourish their relationships in a world prone to ‘digital distraction’. While we strongly encourage families to consider the overall number of hours […]

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The Baby and the Bathwater: A Nuanced Message About Screen Time

The Baby and the Bathwater: A Nuanced Message About Screen Time

| December 11, 2013 | 4 Comments

The debate about ‘screen time’ and children continues to be a hot topic in the field of early childhood education. Among the most difficult questions I have to answer are the ones about app recommendations for children under three. It seems like an innocent question, but it can also feel like I’ve entered a mine-field […]

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7 Ways to Use Digital Reading to Boost Kids’ Skills – Guest Post by Suz Lipman of Bookboard

7 Ways to Use Digital Reading to Boost Kids’ Skills – Guest Post by Suz Lipman of Bookboard

| November 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online. I met her in her new role as the Social Media Director for Bookboard, a digital children’s book library. You can try Bookboard for FREE, a service that hooks kids into reading by unlocking digital books, […]

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The Cost of a Writing Life

The Cost of a Writing Life

| October 31, 2013 | 2 Comments

When I first began my review site, Digital-Storytime.com, I had in mind a life of writing that involved a lot of freedom of expression and time … I might not make much from my brief evaluations of book apps, but I would have complete control over every aspect of my expression. Having control over your […]

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New Media Partnerships – The Role of Mentoring and Training

New Media Partnerships – The Role of Mentoring and Training

| October 23, 2013 | 3 Comments

Two weeks ago I had the honor of being invited to the Erikson Institute in Chicago to meet with Amanda Armstrong, Iara Fuenmayor and Chip Donohue, from the Technology in Early Childhood Center, Rita Catalano and Michael Robb of The Fred Rogers Center, Aimee Strittmatter and Joanna Ison of ALSC – Association for Library Service to Children and librarian extraordinaire, Cen Campbell of LittleeLit.com. […]

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Thinking Out Loud – How New Media is Changing Our Species on a Fundamental Level

Thinking Out Loud – How New Media is Changing Our Species on a Fundamental Level

| October 5, 2013

This week I was honored to meet with other thought leaders in new media and the education of young children. I’m working on a post for next week about our ‘next steps’ and what I learned from the amazing participants in this conversation. There is something so grounding about meeting with people in person, in […]

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CYBILS: Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Awards – Nominations open Oct. 1st!

CYBILS: Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Awards – Nominations open Oct. 1st!

| September 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

People often ask me what the top award for a book app might be … and I’ll admit to be being biased but my favorite hands down, is CYBILS. Every year now, for the past three years, I’ve been involved with the fabulous people who founded and run the CYBILS Awards for children’s books – in […]

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Blurring the Digital Page: The Difference Between Book Apps and eBooks

Blurring the Digital Page: The Difference Between Book Apps and eBooks

| September 9, 2013 | 10 Comments

This past week brought lots of questions my way, asking for a definition that distinguishes between an “eBook” and “book app”. The flood of interest may have been partly in response to the announcement from Random House, stating that they are bringing Dr. Seuss to ebooks for the first time. Articles with titles like Dr. Seuss Makes […]

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Digital-Storytime’s Best Books of the Year: Top 25 Picture Book Apps for Ages 2-12

Digital-Storytime’s Best Books of the Year: Top 25 Picture Book Apps for Ages 2-12

| August 29, 2013

It’s time for Digital-Storytime.com‘s 3rd annual Best Books List for 2013! We’ve combed the iTunes AppStore and selected the following titles for special recognition. These are the most exceptional, innovative and well-crafted storybook apps for kids on the iPad* that we’ve discovered over the past year. We salute the authors, illustrators and talented development teams […]

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Illustrating in the Dark: Why Dick & Jane Can’t Count (A Publishing Mystery)

Illustrating in the Dark: Why Dick & Jane Can’t Count (A Publishing Mystery)

| August 7, 2013 | 12 Comments

The world of children’s books has changed a lot in the past five years. Print titles may look the same, but anyone who has heard of the iPad, eReader or tablet technology knows that there are digital options that stretch our conventional ideas of a what books can and sometimes should do. Browsing in bookstores […]

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Librarians in the Digital Age – Part 2: A to Zoo for Apps Starts the Conversation

Librarians in the Digital Age – Part 2: A to Zoo for Apps Starts the Conversation

| July 16, 2013 | 3 Comments

At the end of June, I had the honor of being on a panel at the national ALA (American Library Association) conference in Chicago, IL. Originally I was going to prepare a video or be available remotely by Skype, but at the last minute I decided to visit the windy city, stay with a dear […]

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Parental Notification, the FTC and Kids Apps: What’s COPPA all about?

Parental Notification, the FTC and Kids Apps: What’s COPPA all about?

| July 5, 2013 | 2 Comments

COPPA is a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) statute – TITLE XIII – also known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Law. It was originally written in 1998 and had not been updated to account for the latest wave of digital kid’s content in the form of apps and other mobile media aimed at kids under 13. […]

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Do Screens Belong in Library Storytimes for Young Children? Response to ALSC Blog

Do Screens Belong in Library Storytimes for Young Children? Response to ALSC Blog

| June 22, 2013 | 4 Comments

A few days ago, a guest post in the ALSC Blog about how “The Screen Free Storytime is the Best Storytime” really got me ‘all riled up’. The post is from Kathy Kleckner, a children’s librarian for Dakota County Libraries at their Rosemount branch. She has worked as a librarian on a bookmobile,  in elementary schools and […]

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Fast, Cheap and Out of Control – The Perils of the New World Order

Fast, Cheap and Out of Control – The Perils of the New World Order

| June 16, 2013 | 0 Comments

Recently, Porter Anderson’s column for authors, “Writing on the Ether” (in Jane Friedman‘s most excellent blog) had a post titled, “Faster, Authors, Faster!” It inspired this post and has given me something to chew on intellectually for several days now. I’ve been following Anderson’s delightful curation, usually weekly, for over two years. He gives an up to the […]

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Can Technology help Parents become better Teachers? – Guest Post by Becky Fisher, M.Ed.

Can Technology help Parents become better Teachers? – Guest Post by Becky Fisher, M.Ed.

| June 14, 2013 | 0 Comments

This guest post is from Becky Fisher, a talented writer, artist, musician, educator, adventurer and blogger. She writes about innovation in educational technology, design thinking & art. You can find her on Twitter at @BFish921. She is also the marketing and community manager at Kidaptive, an educational and storytelling project for the iPad. The achievement gap is […]

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Using Dialogic Reading Techniques for Early Literacy – Guest Post by Tico Ballagas

Using Dialogic Reading Techniques for Early Literacy – Guest Post by Tico Ballagas

| June 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending AppFest, the opening afternoon of Dust or Magic’s App Camp in Monterrey, CA. While there, I met many talented folks, including Dr. Tico Ballagas, creator of a new app called Kindoma.  Our family tried this new, free app and it is really unique. Initially you download the app to […]

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Screen Time Vs Screen Quality: Why the Current Media & Kids Debate is About the Wrong Topic

Screen Time Vs Screen Quality: Why the Current Media & Kids Debate is About the Wrong Topic

| May 28, 2013 | 6 Comments

In a recent ALSC – Association for Library Service to Children – blog post, Cen Campbell wrote about the idea that “Screen Time is Bad” and how that is truly not the conversation we want to be having today, in 2013. She goes on to point out that, “What most people mean when they talk […]

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What is a digital book worth? Reflections on Pricing Book Apps for Kids in 2013

What is a digital book worth? Reflections on Pricing Book Apps for Kids in 2013

| May 21, 2013 | 12 Comments

Over two years ago, as one of my very first blog posts I wrote about the prices in the book app market, using my first 100 reviews for analysis. Now that I have reviewed over 700 titles in this new industry, I’d like to share a few of the points I made in 2011, which […]

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iPads in Education: Five Tips for Teachers Introducing Devices to the Classroom

iPads in Education: Five Tips for Teachers Introducing Devices to the Classroom

| May 13, 2013 | 9 Comments

Last year I volunteered in my child’s Kindergarten class daily for an hour with our family’s three iPads. I learned a lot about selecting educational content (primarily early math & literacy apps) and how to set up an environment most conducive for learning. I was most impressed by the potential for mobile devices to improve […]

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Children’s Librarians in the Digital Age – Part I: A Call to Action

Children’s Librarians in the Digital Age – Part I: A Call to Action

| May 10, 2013 | 2 Comments

In March, I was honored to be invited to the Watsonville, California public library to do a presentation with Cen Campbell, a librarian in Mt. View and blogger at LittleeLit.com. Our audience was a small group of dedicated librarians who work in a variety of settings in the public library system in Northern California. It […]

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Resources for Researching and Evaluating Educational Kids Apps

Resources for Researching and Evaluating Educational Kids Apps

| May 8, 2013 | 2 Comments

I recently developed a series of  in-person presentations, kind of like an “Educational Apps & Ebooks 101” for groups of parents, educators, librarians or other helping professionals in my community and state. In the process, I have created a handout with my favorite research reports and online resources to guide app evaluation & the selection […]

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Is Education Broken? The Problem with US Standardized Testing in Public Schools

Is Education Broken? The Problem with US Standardized Testing in Public Schools

| April 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

  Last night Jayne Clare from TeachersWithApps held their EdAppTalk on Facebook to discuss standardized testing in US schools for 2nd-11th graders, based on their recent post, “Isn’t it TIME to Stand Up Against Standardized Testing?” It made me realize it is also time for me share my concerns and why I would like to see […]

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How to Get a Response from a Website about your App Review

How to Get a Response from a Website about your App Review

| April 15, 2013 | 2 Comments

I considered titling this post “Today in my InBox” because in all my years working with children, I always loved the concept of catching people being good instead of just pointing out their mistakes. Huh? What’s that have to do with my email inbox? To explain, I offer up this collaborative post with Rob Wheat of […]

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What’s that #storyappchat? A chat for those who create storybook apps for kids …

What’s that #storyappchat? A chat for those who create storybook apps for kids …

| April 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

Every Sunday night for nearly the past two years, my family will tell you I have that ‘twitter thing’ and possibly roll their eyes. But if you love children’s storybooks and the new apps that have been inspired by them, you might enjoy hearing more about a ‘twitter thing’ called #storyappchat …   The #storyappchat […]

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Paid App Marketing: Seven Priceless Lessons – Guest Post by Amy Friedlander

Paid App Marketing: Seven Priceless Lessons – Guest Post by Amy Friedlander

| March 22, 2013 | 9 Comments

This guest blog post is brought to you from Amy Friedlander, VP of Marketing & Strategy for Wasabi Productions. This team has created several book apps, including the Lazy Larry Lizard series that launched in April of 2010. Selling a paid storybook app is kind of like selling a new brand of peanut butter or this season’s new sweater. You’re introducing […]

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It’s daunting, but you can create your storybook app too! – Guest Post by Alex Souza

It’s daunting, but you can create your storybook app too! – Guest Post by Alex Souza

| March 19, 2013 | 2 Comments

Alex Souza is the founder of Kwiksher, a photoshop plugin for publishing illustrated, interactive storybook apps. I met him when he was hosting #storyappchat on Twitter for us back in 2011 & again last summer and he’s a great resource, even for those not interested in Kwik specifically. Check out his blog, including articles like, […]

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Literacy and The Digital Shift: How Educators, Parents & Librarians Can Bridge the Cultural Gap

Literacy and The Digital Shift: How Educators, Parents & Librarians Can Bridge the Cultural Gap

| March 6, 2013 | 6 Comments

The revolution is here. Over 500 years ago, when the Gutenberg Press was introduced, many people did not understand how the cultural shift would reverberate in every institution within society. We have greatly improved research that can quantify and qualify our projections for the future now, but this does not do anything to hedge against […]

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