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Traditional Books vs.Digital Books: The Promise of Greater Interactivity

Topics: Mobile apps, interactive books, apps for kids

Think back to your childhood. Can you remember your favorite book? What was is it? I enjoyed the book, The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Books come in different sizes and shapes and chances are, if you went to school in the 20th century, your favorite story was encased in what we call a “traditional book.” Traditional books are simply books made from paper with a hard (or soft) cover. However, traditional books as well as reading in general, are facing tremendous competition. Video games, the Internet, television, music all serve as enormous distractions. On top of this, children now expect an interactive experience when it comes to their leisure time. It is no wonder that the time children are spending reading books has decreased significantly.

Luckily technology has once again saved the day. Today children now have a powerful new option when it comes to experiencing the magic of storytelling: the digital book, also known as an e-book, or even an app.

Similar to the new HD televisions, satellite radios, and mobile phones – books too have undergone significant enhancements and are changing the way children learn and interact in and out of the classroom.

Digital books are much like the traditional books that you and I remember. They tell a story in the form of static text on paper. This in itself is not such a bad thing. In fact, traditional books have engaged children and adults alike ever since the development of the Gutenberg printing press.  However, with the progression of technology, gone are the days of books collection dust on a shelf. Digital books operate on devices like a tablet computer (iPad, Amazon Fire), mobile phone (iPhone, Android), and desk top computers. They offer children unprecedented learning opportunities all within the confines of a “book.” And unlike traditional books, digital books, while they still offer stories with static text, have a wide range of impressive potential features including:

• Narrated stories
• Vocabulary activities
• Reading comprehension quizzes
• Educational games
• Video and audio

The opportunities for increased interactivity and learning opportunities are limitless when it comes to digital books. While traditional books will remain an important part of a child’s literacy development, digital books will significantly enhance the reading experience. In the 21st century, children will amass digital book collections (on their computers and other devices) just as their parents had personal book collections sitting on a shelf.

Quackenworth specializes in mobile games for kids and educational websites. Our mission is to develop fun products that teachers and parents can use to educate and enrich the lives of children and young adults. Click here to learn more about Quackenworth's apps for kids.