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Chatty Kidz

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An innovative app combining e-books and video calls to help children learning to read.

Teacher Review

Chatty Kidz aims to use family bonds and communication to improve learning outcomes for children - at the moment particularly focussing on literacy, although there are plans to add more diverse content over time. This premise is well-founded, with research showing that outcomes for children learning to read and continuing to improve over time are much better when families support and encourage the learning process. As such, Chatty Kidz provides a platform that allows children to read from an extensive library of e-books, or to share these with relatives (or another reading mentor) using video calls. As well as providing an enriching learning opportunity, the app also aims to bring family members into the learning process who are geographically removed, and to enrich family relationships in this way too.
 
To get started with Chatty Kidz is relatively easy. The app is easy to navigate and contains prompts for first time users, as well as a video introduction from the founder which makes the aims and context of the app very clear. Children can read and add books to their local library without adding any contacts, but in order to take part in a reading assessment or a video call then a new contact has to be added. Contacts can be added in the app using an email address, meaning that there are no public lists to browse and so keeping children safer online. We tested the app using an iPad and a PC with Chrome, but the screens were very similar and the app is designed to work using iPads at both ends, or PCs, depending on the preferences of the users. There is an Android app in the pipeline too, to add further compatibility.
 
Each new user receives a month’s free trial of all content, after which a subscription must be purchased to continue to use the platform. There is a wealth of included content, including a library of Pearson learn to read scheme books, which take children through 30 progressive levels of reading, including both fiction and non-fiction titles.
 
Once two contacts have connected using the app, the screen is shared, with one of the two users taking control of the app - meaning that the adult can take charge of the interaction. The two video feeds are shown unobtrusively in the corners of the app window. From here, the users can either share one of the books in the library and read together, or the adult can choose to use the app to assess the reading level of the child. These features are simple to use and the assessment provides a good level of detail, which can either be accessed through the app or emailed to a parent or other adult’s email account.
 
This app meets its stated aims well, and it will be interesting to see what types of content are added to the platform in future. The platform itself could be really helpful in motivating and providing access to educational opportunities to children in different situations, by removing any geographical constraints to learning. As well as linking with family members, professional tutors can be used remotely and in this way the platform provides a big advantage in accessibility to children who live in remote geographical locations, or are unable to attend normal school settings for other reasons too.

Screenshots

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From the Developer

We teach kids to read & help them learn to read better, with a peer-2-peer reading platform.

Web Version : https://platform.chattykidz.com/   

We make it simple to:

- Assess your child's actual reading level
- Access a library of leveled early reader books to suit your kids current reading ability
- Read books together anytime/anywhere
- Monitor the kids progress as they learn to read
- Involve the entire family who help the kids to learn to read better
- Motivate kids to read books
- Let kids create their own books and show off their creations to family & friends
- Hire low cost tutors who teach your child to read better

Study after study have shown that kids perform better when families get involved in their education, & not just a bit better; 52% of those children get more A’s.

The kids learn better when the family gets involved!

Chatty Kidz makes it easy to get involved with a family learning platform, combining video's real-time engagement with educational tools & content focused on early literacy.

Parents build a safe, trusted network that engages the child with video chat & together read books in real-time. Families & low cost tutors share the workload whilst improving the child's reading ability.

Features:
- Test your child and assess their actual reading level

- Select leveled books from a large library to suit your child's reading ability

- Call each other using any device (i.e. iPad to PC)

- read together & interact with books in real-time during a video call

- SAFE for kids; this is a secure trusted network controlled by the parents, not an open social network.

- Add family members or friends to the contact list. You must know someone's email address in order to connect with them and call them (i.e. no random invites from strangers)

- Easily create your own books using the iPad's camera or upload your own images

- Share your own books with family & friends

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