Read With Me App: An App to Improve the Read Aloud Experience with Parents and Children

Session Description
Seeing young children using mobile devices to watch videos or play games have become a common thing. With the busyness of everyday life, some parents use the devices as a means of occupying their children rather than a tool to enhance their learning. Popular children’s books are no longer exclusively available as printed books, but are now being marketed as ebooks. Whether it is parents cuddling with their child or teachers reading to their students, reading time is not the same when printed books are replaced with ebooks.

The purpose of this usability study was to create, evaluate, and improve a mobile app that would enhance the read aloud experiences with parents and their children, while embracing technological advancements in an engaging, interactive, and meaningful manner through the use of augmented reality. Design of the app was guided by the constructivist learning theory. The app augments a printed children’s book story in a read along bouncing ball manner similar to the technique used to direct singalongs. The bouncing ball helps to gain and retain one’s attention, while further developing the optokinetic reflex (eye movement) that is used to read. There were three rounds of usability testing, and the feedback obtained from each round was used to implement changes for subsequent rounds. Feedback indicated that participants appreciated the visually appealing graphics, and the clean and simple layout. The presentation will include the progression of the app, the selection of tools, and the biggest challenges of developing this app.

Valerie Torikawa-Domingo
Valerie Torikawa-Domingo, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Ewa Beach, HI, USA
Valerie Torikawa-Domingo is a graduate student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Education. She will be graduating with a Master’s in Education in Learning Design and Technology in May 2018. Upon completing the Master’s program, Val will also receive her Graduate Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Accounting and Finance with Distinction from the University of Hawaii West Oahu where she graduated with honors. Ms. Torikawa-Domingo is currently a freelance accounting and administrative services provider, and an independent paralegal experienced in real estate law.
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