03/23/14
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App Review: AL – Early Literacy

Screen time can be learning time when education and technology complement each other in just the right way. The Active Learning (AL) Early Literacy App from Finish Line Studios does this and more by combining important literacy concepts in a fun learning environment.

AL Early Literacy AppThe app’s six learning activities support the Common Core State Standards and focus on building letter knowledge, writing and spelling skills for kids from pre-K through first grade. The benefit of focusing on such a specific age range makes it possible to dig deep into the broad early literacy needs of this audience.

AL – Early Literacy encourages practice and opportunities to try again when an “incorrect” answer is chosen. Most questions are answered by dragging the selected answer which enhances learning as well as fine motor development. Fun illustrations feature “AL” doing  relatable activities such as going to the park, playing at the beach and flying into space. The comprehension questions encourage drawing context clues from the pictures while keeping it fun by offering humorous “wrong” answers.

It’s clear the educational foundations beneath the app have been thoughtfully considered. The app is perfectly situated for use in the classroom, especially those in school districts transitioning to one-to-one computing programs. Teachers can mAL - Early Literacy Apponitor their students’ success through the assessment tool and also select specific letters and words to be reinforced in individual student profiles. The design and layout of the app screens would make it simple to guide a classroom of learners through the app in group study.

I could also see it used by homeschoolers and any family wanting to work on early literacy skills at home. As a librarian, I love the emphasis on letter knowledge and print awareness. I would add it to iPads for kids to use in the library and I would also look forward to having my own very early reader use it in the future.

I am curious about the other forthcoming Active Learning apps, if there would be a way for teachers to customize all their student profiles from one device, and whether we will see one starring ALice!

*A promotional copy of this app was provided to me with an invitation (not obligation) to review from an acquaintance at Finish Line Studios.