Tuesday, November 8, 2016

App Review: eBook Plaza

I'm raising a future writer.

My 12 year old has already written four books. I watch her each day sit down at her laptop and begin furiously typing, trying to get it all down before the ideas escape. And okay, maybe I'm a little jealous that she is so full of creativity that it appears to just flow out of her fingertips and a great wave of words.

So naturally, I'm using her love of writing to help teach her about all the skills she needs to be an effective writer. And I'm always on the lookout for tools that will help me teach her.

A few months ago, you may remember me sharing with you about the new online program - the PreK12 Plaza Summer Victory Challenge. The online program used engaging tech to get kids busy doing hands-on activities that challenged their ingenuity and their creative spirit.

Well now, PreK12 Plaza has expanded their program to include a new app your kids will love.

Name: eBook Plaza
Subject(s): Writing
Brief Description: A bilingual eBook app for students and teachers.
Price: Free
Language: Spanish, English
Ages: 6+ years
Device: iOS, Android, Kindle

eBook Plaza is an app that gives your child access to hundreds of eBooks at various reading levels in both English and Spanish. Your child can search for them by grade level.

In addition, your child/student can also create their own eBook. I love using the app to assign research projects to my kids. My daughter is working on an eBook about manatees and dugongs, which she's been learning about in science. She has to research them in books and take notes, then write her eBook from them. She also finds pictures or draws her own to supplement each page in her eBook.

Overall, she says that it is easier to create eBooks on the app than it was on the online version because:

  • It's faster. For example, if she wants to add an image to a page, she can just snap a picture with her tablet and - boom! - it's there. No searching for files all over the computer and uploading.
  • It's mobile. Now it's easy to create eBooks anywhere! So if she decides to write an eBook that documents the wildlife in our backyard, she can do it without having to go back and forth between the yard and her computer.

The app even allows your child to upload a voice/sound recording, so if you want to make the eBook available with a read aloud format, it just takes the push of a button.

My girl loves that she can see her eBooks available via the app, including the one she made at the end of the summer on the Olympics. She was especially excited to see that the latter has been viewed over 100 times. And it motivates her to write more and create new eBooks.

The end result looks great, too!

If you have a budding writer in your home, this is a great app for him or her.

And if you have a struggling writer, this is a great way to motivate them to write more. My son struggles with dysgraphia. He hates writing. But using this app is fun for him and he's started using it to write his own eBook. I love that he was enthusiastic about writing for the first time in a long while.

You can download the app here: PreK12Plaza (English) or Plaza Bilingüe (Spanish).

And here's one more cool thing: The creators of new ebooks will be entered on a contest for the opportunity to win an Amazon gift card. The contest starts today on Nov 8 and ends Nov 22. The winner(s) will be announced on Wednesday, November 23.

Please join us on Wednesday night for a Bilingual eBook Plaza App Twitter party!! Just follow the hashtags #ebookplaza #plazabilingue and/or our hosts @estilofamiliar & @prek12plaza.

And don't forget to follow PreK12Plaza on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!


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