App Name: Reading Rainbow
What does it promise? Hosted by LeVar Burton, the app offers a trusted library of books customized to your students’ interests, plus exciting video field trips to meet fascinating people and places.
Does it deliver? In a big way. Children travel to themed islands such as Animal Kingdom, My Friends, My Family and Genius Academy, discovering quality fiction and non-fiction books along the way. Each book comes alive with audio storytelling by celebrity actors, including spoken-word Grammy winner Burton himself, and features light animations and activities to enhance the story.
The app has access to 150 interactive books with frequent updates that expand the library. For teachers, the app offers recommendations that are customized to individual students. For students, each book contains interactive activities and a reward program to motivate reading.
Can I use it in my classroom? This app has just launched, and all of the features are currently limited to a single child. Reading Rainbow has, however, revealed that a future update will not only allow multiple readers to receive customizations, but also let teachers track multiple readers’ progress. It’s great now, but once the update hits, Reading Rainbow will be a must-have for early elementary classrooms.
All apps can be found in the iPad apps store under education.