Many parents fear that iPads and other touchscreen devices will discourage kids from picking up, reading, and enjoying actual books. While this is a legitimate concern, there are many chapters to this story. In fact, there are a number of apps that actually teach students of all ages how to create their own books, periodicals and stories.
Creative Book Publisher ($3.99 iPad)
Creative Book Builder allows students, mostly high schoolers, create original works in the standard e-book/e-pub format, providing an easy way to share their work. Students are able to create a digital book with text, images, audio, and even video features, and it all can be done directly from the iPad. The ease of use will encourage students to complete teacher-assigned projects, as well as give students a format to create and distribute works that are created solely for personal enjoyment. Is your child a budding poet? Creative Book Builder would allow them to create, publish, and share their own original book of poetry. The ability to so quickly and easily create eBooks that can be viewed on a variety of devices and shared so easily will encourage many students to create more projects.
Book Creator for iPad ($4.99 iPad)
This is a great tool for writing a book, organizing documents, or just keeping track of class notes. Kids can use it to create a story book, write a field trip journel, or a project report...the potential is endless. With little childlike design, this app will give the middle schoolers a sense of growing up. With the many editing options, kids will feel they are in complete control and the final professional-looking product will definitely give them a strong sense of achievement. The final product can be submitted to iBookstore and read on iBook.
Little Bird Tales - Easy Digital Stories for Kids ($2.99 iPad)
Little Bird Tales has created an easy-to-use, intuitive interface accessible independently to even the youngest learners. Students can create books with text, an in-app drawing and art feature, and photos from the iPad camera roll. Additionally, students can easily record narration to accompany the text of the story. Finished tales can be shared via email. Due to the simple nature of the app, students can independently create digital stories using a variety of tools that can be shared with ease. Your budding author will love seeing their stories come to life in the pages of the Little Bird Tale application.
Toonastic Jr. Pirates - for iPad ($1.99)
This colorful, pirate themed app invites children to create their own cartoons by using fun-tastic characters and scenery in a quick and easy way. Cartoonish pirates, mermaids, ghosts and princesses all add to the cast of characters that will have children creating their own cartoon in just minutes. Children can create stories alone or with others by using a feature called "Story Share", which enables your child to connect live (with parental assistance) to a friend or family member to create a story together online. Toontastic also has an "All-Access" app we encourage you to download.
Draw Along with Stella and Sam ($1.99 iPad)
Stella and Sam's Draw Along combines several elements in a way that helps introduce kids to being active creators in the story telling process. First, it links in with Stella and Sam story books (that can be purchased separately). Secondly, it features a simple but fun coloring and drawing interface where kids can express themselves, and thirdly, it takes the child's work and animates it into a movie that can be saved to the camera roll for viewing and sharing. For children just starting out with the story telling process, Draw Along introduces the concept that they can contribute their design and images to the world of stories.