The UKLA Digital Book Award is in its second year and forms part of UKLA’s initiative to nurture children’s reading for pleasure in new multimedia formats.
Teachers from schools in Manchester, Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire, Coventry, Plymouth and Derbyshire used three shortlisted apps during the summer term.
Teachers were free to use the apps in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 classes in any way they wished, including 1-2-1 or in small groups.
The criteria for choosing the best digital book were adapted from research by the Open University and Book Trust. The criteria relate to the full spectrum of reading engagement with digital books, including children’s creative, personalised, shared or affective engagement.
The Goldilocks and Little Bear app developed by Nosy Crow was the unanimous winner. Teachers commented on the innovative and engaging way in which this app extended a classic text. They particularly praised the possibility to switch in-between two stories by simply rotating the iPad. This feature, together with the combination of multimedia enhancements in the book (such as music, sound effects and animation) created a reading experience that would not be possible with a printed book. Children also loved the special interactive possibilities embedded in the app, such as dressing up the baby bear for example.
Natalia Kucirkova, chair of the award said:
‘It is encouraging to see the progress in the quality of entries for this award and in the ways teachers choose to use digital books in their classrooms. While last year the key decision factor was whether the app lent itself easily to traditional literacy lessons, this year the winning app was praised for extending children’s enjoyment of texts. I hope this will encourage app developers to invest resources into scalable school models.’
Teachers’ comments about the winning app included:
“Two stories coming together through lots of fun and enjoyment!”
“Developing reading skills in a fun, imaginative and very creative way!”
“The opportunity to engage in reading whilst enjoying the interaction that helps add to the story!”
“This is an engaging, entertaining app which nurtures children’s pleasure and interest in reading.”