One thing I find in common across this current ‘tween’ generation is their constant need for entertainment! The gadgets that they’re growing up around- computers, smart phones, tablets, gaming systems, etc makes them crave something to do at all times. As a mom I dislike simply allowing them to play a game for the sake of entertaining them, I like to know that they’re reading or getting something out of the process.
Recently I was sent an invitation to download an App for my tablet created by author and current Miami Herald contributor Julie Landry Laviolette of Story Bayou. I was interested in testing it with my girls because although I have to share my tablet with the kids- at least now I know that they’ll be reading while stealing my technology!
The cool factor is that they’re not simply reading, but they’re engaged to help choose the story’s ending or different paths for the story. My tween read the story quickly and then started playing with the various ending choices. We talked about the writing process and she enjoyed the options. She did tell me that she would like to have more opportunity to actually ‘draw’ something since the title is a ‘Brush’ of truth. At this age they read so many things literally. When we returned to the e-book we talked about the ‘brush’ having powers and the reader can choose various paths for the story to change. I got an ‘oh cool, but I wanna draw!”.. kinda funny.
I like the App as they are reading and being engaged in the story process- that’s the key element. I’d rather spend $1- $5 download cost for a unique app where they’re engaged in reading than on a new ‘tool’ for a silly online game.
Remember our pledge to Celebrate Education- we use hashtag #CelebrateEdu on Twitter to share our posts relating in some way to education. When kids are engaged in reading- that’s worth celebrating.
As a mother of twin tweens in 2011 and an active Girl Scout Troop leader, Cristy realized there was a need to develop bilingual digital content and foster a community facing the challenges of raising kids after first grade. That year she founded and remains co-Publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, to support multicultural parents and mentors with content related to raising Gen Z- tweens & teens ages 7-18. Through the Los Tweens & Teens LIVE events such as Teens & Me – the growing team aims to provide our community with essential resources from chats with therapists to battle anxiety and bullying, to understanding social media and technology.
A New Jersey native of Cuban decent, Cristy is a board member of Amigos For Kids – a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse in the South Florida community. She is a teenage cancer survivor and speaks nationally at conferences and volunteers with cancer-awareness organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Florida.