Tag Archives: book apps

Transcript for the 8/25/13 #storyappchat: Writing Lesson Plans Featuring Your Story App

Last night we discussed the logistics of putting together a lesson plan, and why a content creator would want to do so. Here is one brief framework for authoring a lesson plan:

Grade/Class: cite the targeted grade here (i.e. Fifth Grade)

Subject Area(s): ELA, mathematics, science, etc.

Lesson Topic: title reflecting the topic

Suggested Learning Outcome(s): detail what the students will Know, Understand or be able to Do as a result of this lesson

Common Core OR State Learning Standard(s): list the specific standards this lesson is designed to address (CCSS available for perusal here)

Learner Prior Knowledge/Learner Background Experiences: these can come from the standards for the prior year

Materials and Resources Needed: specific listing of all the items needed to carry out the lesson (paper, pencils, smart board, etc.), including the name of your book or app

Suggested Teaching Strategies: these are the specifics of carrying out the lesson plan, including Anticipatory Strategies (Background Knowledge), Developmental Strategies and Concluding Strategies

Assessment: how will the students be evaluated on their understanding of the material covered in this lesson?

EC accommodations/modifications to strategies or assessments: detail any necessary considerations for exceptional children as seen in the typical classroom (ADHD, ASD, HAG, etc.)

Resources Used to Create This Lesson Plan: mention any books, videos, websites or other resources you consulted to put this lesson plan together, including a link to your app

Here are the links I shared:

A site with free lesson plan templates, and another similar one

Discovery Education’s bank of free lesson plans

Google’s monster database of free lesson plans

Free Gradebook and lesson plan software from Google

Hundreds of free lesson plans from the International Reading Association

A free web-based software package that generates lesson plans, and another one that incorporates CCSS

Some tips for writing lesson plans:

Five Secrets for Writing Great Lesson Plans

About.com: How to Write a Lesson Plan

Principles from Colorado State University, including a sample lesson plan format

While the up-front work of creating a custom lesson plan may seem daunting, it’s really not a big deal and ultimately it will help sell storybook apps!

The transcript for the chat appears at Storify here. Do plan to join us for the next chat, on Sunday, September 8!

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Welcome to #storyappchat!

What was #storyappchat? It was a weekly Twitter meeting for those of us interested in creating storybook apps and ebooks for kids. We talked about all aspects of the business, from the latest software tools to avoiding burnout. Most of our weekly visitors identified themselves as:

  • Authors
  • Illustrators
  • Software Developers
  • Librarians
  • Educators
  • Consultants
  • App Reviewers
  • Parents

…but if you don’t fit into any of these categories, don’t worry. We’re happy to have you join us if you are interested in a behind-the-scenes look at children’s storybook apps/ebooks.

The weekly chats are no more, but people still use the #storyappchat hashtag on Twitter to share news, information and to ask questions. Keep an eye on us!

We post topics on our Facebook page and on Twitter, so be sure to Like and Follow us there. After our chats, we generated a transcript so even if you missed the live discussion, you could benefit from the wisdom of the attendees.

Scroll down for transcripts from every #storyappchat session held since 2011.

Topic for the 8/11/13 #storyappchat: Measuring the Marketplace

Kindle + Apple + B&N + ??? = 100% (+ or – 50%)

Kindle + Apple + B&N + ??? = 100% (+ or – 50%) (via Digital Media Diet)

This week we’ll be discussing how to measure the marketplace for children’s illustrated digital ebooks and apps. How many book apps are on the market for kids across all formats? What’s the average price, median price, typical sales? How many digital books have been downloaded for the iPad since 2010?

These seem like simple questions, and on the surface they are very basic questions that almost everyone asks when they enter the kid’s digital publishing industry. The part that isn’t simple is the answer. One of our hosts, Carisa Kluver (@iPad_Storytime) has just published this blog post in The Digital Media Diet about the dilemma intrinsic to evaluating the story app market in particular:

Illustrating in the Dark: Why Dick & Jane Can’t Count (A Publishing Mystery)

Other recent discussions within the publishing industry include:

Let’s talk about what we know about the market from our own experiences, stories from other content creators and how to make sense of the limited data available when making future plans for publishing projects.

So join us this Sunday, August 11th, at 9:00 pm Eastern/6:00 pm Pacific. Just start including the #storyappchat Twitter hashtag to participate, or try using our new #TWUBS account, twubs.com/storyappchat. And follow @storyappchat for resources, transcripts and updates! Follow us on Facebook too.

We’ll see you there!

Topic for the 7/14/13 #storyappchat: Sponsored Apps

#storyappchat topic badgeNobody likes ads in their apps, right? Well, it depends. Sometimes unobtrusive ads are OK if it means we get the app for free. And the placement and handling of the ad(s) or product mention(s) make a huge difference. A simple welcome screen including the words “sponsored by” and a company name is a lot more palatable than rotating pop-up ads that insist you view them before moving on in the app.

As creators of storybook apps for kids, we need to be very careful how we incorporate ads in our products, if at all. In fact, a recent update for a book app  that customers had already paid for included new ads, and users were presented with the option to pay again in order to remove the ads. This was an unfortunate decision, especially in an app designed for children featuring trusted, popular characters. There are ways to monetize content without making people feel as though they’re getting ripped off.

On the other hand, if done tastefully and unobtrusively, a sponsorship could make the difference between an app or ebook getting made or not. Perhaps more companies with deep pockets will be willing in the future to pay to sponsor our work, in exchange for a mention and website link. This could be placed on a “For Parents” page in an electronic story, so as not to interfere with the reading experience for a youngster.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of introducing sponsors and other paid content in apps and ebooks during the next #storyappchat, this Sunday (July 14) at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific. Just start tweeting using the #storyappchat hashtag to take part!

Last Week’s Transcript: on Monday morning I tweeted a link to the 7/7/13 transcript (Selling in Non-U.S. Markets), but if you missed it, the link is here. Follow us on Twitter to get all the latest updates!

Topic for the 7/7/13 #storyappchat: Selling in Other Countries

#storyappchat topic badgeI admit with some embarrassment that #storyappchat is somewhat USA-centric. Since all of us involved with keeping the chat and blog going are here in the States, it’s easy to forget that there is a lot of exciting mobile development (and great stories being written and illustrated) in other parts of the world. I’d like to be more clued in to what’s going on internationally.

In addition, there are real and potential sales from mobile customers in other countries, and both Apple and Amazon make it pretty easy to start selling internationally. But what are the things to watch out for when making apps and ebooks available worldwide? Should our content be translated? What are the best ways to reach customers who don’t speak English?

Let’s discuss the realities, both positive and negative, of selling storybook apps in other countries during the next #storyappchat. We’ll kick things off at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific on Sunday, July 7.

Transcript for the 6/30/13 #storyappchat: Critique Groups

[View the transcript “#storyappchat 6/30/13” on Storify]

The pros and cons of critique groups were debated last night in our #storyappchat discussion. If you missed the chat and are new to the concept of critique groups, the following links may prove useful:

Tedd Arnold’s Critique Group

Overview of Critique Groups on The Writer’s Craft

Again, this transcript was created using Storify. Do me a favor and let me know if you like/don’t like this new format by tweeting with the #storyappchat hashtag. Until SearchHash is back up and running, we may be stuck with Storify for a while.

Remember, we get together every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific to talk storybook apps. Make plans to join us for the next one on July 7, OK?

Topic for the 6/30/13 #storyappchat: Critique Groups

#storyappchat topic badgeI studied industrial design in college, and one of the most memorable components of the course material was the critique. Led by the instructor, we’d engage in a whole-class discussion of every piece created by the students for the latest assignment, and I remember going into most of these with a certain amount of dread. I’d heard stories about professors who’d pull work off the wall and silently (and dismissively) let it fall to the floor.

Luckily, I had mostly caring instructors who doled out constructive criticism, but the fear surrounding those critique sessions remains planted in my memory.

Today’s critique groups don’t work like that, thankfully. A critique group is a carefully chosen group of supportive artists and/or writers who are working on projects in the same genre you are. The idea is that everyone in the group both shares current projects with the other members, and provides constructive criticism on everyone else’s work. There should be lots of give and take, and members are expected to stay current on the state of the publishing world so realistic options can be kept in mind and discussed. After all, we all want to reach our target audiences with our work, right?

Critique groups can meet in person on a set schedule, or online in a forum or other web venue. There is no right way to create or maintain a critique group, but certain best practices can help keep members focused on helping everyone in the group achieve success.

Let’s discuss the topic of critique groups during the next #storyappchat, set for this Sunday (June 30) at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific time. Just begin tweeting using the #storyappchat hashtag to take part!