Oxford University Press’s WordFlex Touch Dictionary is a dictionary—three, actually, including the largest, most exhaustive compilation of words in print—that students can explore and interact with visually. Nodes branching out from a word—creating a tree-like structure—show students multiple definitions of the word, while breaking down each aspect of the word into small, easily understood chunks. Students learn the definitions, spelling, pronunciation, word origin, synonyms, antonyms, other tenses, and related words. They can search for a word, even without precise spelling. For example, typing the word excess also offers the word excel as an option floating onto the screen. When students tap the intended word, the dictionary entry expands like a tree, showing dozens of similar words, grouped in branches demonstrating the subtleties of meaning for each. See, for example, the video demonstrating the branching for the word twitter. This single app covers multiple Oxford University Press dictionary and thesaurus titles. Costs: Basic Lite, free; full version, $4.99
The award-winning Novel EffectiPadapp brings stories to life, promotes literacy, sparks imagination, and provides enjoyment for children aged 12 and under. The app follows the voice of users as they read aloud from children’s storybooks, and responds at just the right moment with music, sounds, and character voices.
The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation offers grants for bookmobile programs across the nation that serve children from disadvantaged populations. The grants support organizations that operate a lending bookmobile that travels into neighborhoods populated by underserved youth.