ABCBuddy, our letter entry playground that prepares beginning writers to write more quickly with WritingBuddy, is now $1.99 to download for your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone.. Watch for some specials in the next few months. Young children love to hunt for their letters,to hear the crazy sounds they get when they get the right one.
Remember that even if you don’t have an Apple device, your beginning writer can play ABCBuddy on any computer in Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome for free! http://drpeet.com/find_letters/index.html
If you are a preschool teacher or a parent/grandparent of a young
child, and you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you can give the
gift of reading by downloading our two apps: ABCBuddy (free) and WritingBuddy ($6.99), and by supporting the children while they use them. Taken together, these two apps provide a personal, talking written language laboratory for children (or adults) just beginning to learn to read English.
How do the learners put this laboratory to work? It’s really not hard
at all. Start by giving them ABCBuddy. Download it from the Apple App Store. It’s free! What does ABCBuddy do? It helps learners find all the letters of the English alphabet on the onscreen keyboard. They
learn the names, shapes and keyboard location of each of the 26
letters. How do they learn? Well, the app asks them to “Find the
letter ——.” When they key the letter correctly, the app gives them a
little spoken reward, from a funny sound to a nice voice saying
“Good!” Learners can play as long as they are having fun. Check out
the video at http://drpeet.com/Movie_Theater_4.html to see how much
fun this app can be! But when they begin to look for something else to
do, it’s time for the WritingBuddy game!
Surf “WritingBuddy” in the App Store. Download the app. Play with it
yourself for about an hour or two before you give it to the learner.
This app is very powerful, so it does cost you a bit, but it is worth
every penny! Check out our videos at
http://drpeet.com/New_Video_Page.html. Try the “Demo on WritingBuddy”
first. Then watch the older children help the younger boy first to write, then to search the word “dinosaur.” None of them spelled the word correctly at first, but when they use WritingBuddy to search, they discovered the correct spelling (just after the video ended). Searching for a word is one way learners benefit from the app. They can also search for videos of dinosaurs, and send emails or text messages to you or other friends or relatives withWritingBuddy. These are all fascinating ways of “using” their writing to communicate and make discoveries. We call this process ”talkwriting!”
Watch for our second tutorial on talkwriting soon!
Just a quick heads up and an ongoing thank you for your interest in our efforts to help kids learn to read and write with our talking apps.
The new version 1.1 of our ABCBuddy, the free and entertaining talking keyboarding game for prewriters, is live in the App Store! Our daughter and all the kids in our reviewer/beta test families love the crazy reward sounds. We upgraded the app from the original by removing the video and banner ads. Thanks to Lorraine Akemann and Moms With Apps for the idea!
Of course, the kids still love to hear their favorite sounds as rewards for finding the right letter. And ABCBuddy still prepares them to talkwrite as they experiment with creating their power words using our talking word processor app, WritingBuddy, for their own personal communication purposes.
Prewriters who have our “talkwriting” tool, WritingBuddy (find in Apple App Store) can really speed up their letter search time by playing with free ABCBuddy. No requirements - just play for a while, go back to writing and using what you write with WritingBuddy, and then come and play some more!
Check us out in the Apple App Store. Search ABCBuddy, or download your upgrade, those of you who already have ABCBuddy.
And please, if you like ABCBuddy, write us a review in the Apple App Store!
Thanks again for your interest in our work on “talkwriting2read” here at Dr. Peet’s Software LLC!
William Peet, Ph.D.
CEO, Dr. Peet’s Software LLC
Got a reply to my post four days ago at the LinkedIn education group I follow. @Payal wondered if the experience beginning writers have when using WritingBuddy gave them as much to work with as they would get by doing something physically exploratory, like playing with a cardboard box. I replied that both experiences provide clear exploratory value. You can see the exchange at http://linkd.in/yyrKZg.
On my LinkedIn today, I read a post by Alicia Parr which struck a chord with me. Alicia had stated one of the key principles of learning when she described her child’s learning process:
Alicia Parr • I feel that play is learning as you do. As I’ve watched my now 3 year old develop, I’ve been struck by the joy that accompanies learning new things. I wonder at what point does learning go from being an inherent, emotionally satisfying drive to being a chore? It saddens me to read that some parents mistake play as a frivolous, non-learning activity. I think it’s pretty straightforward to observe any child at play and identify the sorts of things being learned and deliberately practiced. Whether that convinces some parents or not, I don’t know. I think I’d have to better understand the belief systems behind the play as frivolous view to offer any solutions.
So I posted the following reply:
William Peet • Play is not only powerful, it is crucial to most informal learning, and as Vygotsky, Carl Rogers, Paolo Freire, John Dewey, et. al. point out, we need to encourage children to play in arenas where their interests intersect with subject areas like reading, writing, math, science, history, etc. Vygotsky calls it the “zone of proximal development,” since it brings learners in close to the subject matter at exactly the point of contact that matters most to them. A good example would be a four-year-old child writing “puppies” with our talking WritingBuddy app on the iPad. S/he hears each letter, as well as the completed word, spoken by the clear computer voice, to verify that the right spelling is entered. Then s/he clicks the browser or video search button to use the word s/he has constructed to find a fun video or article about puppies. The video plays back, sometimes with commentary, and the article can be copied back into WritingBuddy to be spoken out loud by the computer, with each word highlighted as it is read. The child has been brought into the zone of proximal development through interest in puppies and the written language development support offered by the app.
One of the key issues in the ongoing development of learning theory, in my opinion, is including the identification of learner interests in our development of new instructional programs. Assessing for interests should actually precede assessing for present functioning levels whenever a child enters a school sysyem. We will be revisiting one of my former programs, Dr. Peet’s PictureWriter, which assesses interests nicely for young children, as they create talking picture sentences about things they like, dislike, love, hate, etc.
Decided to post Peet’s neat tweets on http://blog.drpeet.com. Just hate to see ‘em disappear into the Tweet-o-sphere forever.
ID-ing colors w iPod at 3 - talkwriting2Read at four - running her own blog at six - teaching the world to live green at 24
Kids driving cross-country to Grammy’s send her emails w WritingBuddy while talkwriting2read. No “when do we get there?”
Kids learn written English by texting mommy from their BH classroom while talkwriting2read w WritingBuddy at writing corner.
Funny thing: Kids in ESL class talkwrite to read, write AND speak w clear text2speech voices in new talking word processors
& Research shows that children who “talkwrite” w WritingBuddy learn their letters as they share interests in writing.
! What if your kids use their iPods in your writing center, & hear every letter as they key their power words?
Okay, so I’m doing this to keep tonight’s stream of consciousness available, even though my tweets are long gone. Messing w the system….
(Patched together from my tweets tonight.)
“Talkwriting2Read” is our catch phrase, but two great researchers, Jean Casey and Rachel Cohen, use the term “written language processing.” Whether you say ‘talkwriting’ or ‘written language processing,’ what actually happens is non-readers naturally build greater power to learn to read and write.
Wrote an article for Cal State Northridge conf. in 1995. Still applies today - easier now w smartphones, pods and pads.http://bit.ly/tGc9py. More powerful research by Jean Casey http://bit.ly/seFprm and Rachel Cohenhttp://bit.ly/uGiA5B. They’ve worked in more depth w talkwriting. Per Casey and Cohen, the research began w talking typewriter in the 60s. Buckleitner calls it “computer scribbling.” http://bit.ly/vbNs91
Our purpose is to make all this power available to all non-writers, via multi-modality smart phones/pads, using all their power, including tweets. Touchscreen, speech synthesis, emailing, texting, searching for info - we made it all available to beginning writers, under parental control. Our beginning writers can even use our “remember” key to tweet what they’ve written, once their caregiver demos and gives the green light.
Talkwriting2read is an ideal, ultimate “hole-in-the-wall” tool, per Sugata Mitra, great Indian learning style innovator http://bit.ly/aA4NX9. With used iPod Touches, we could more cheaply realize the dream of Nicholas Negroponte: one laptop (smartpod) per child http://bit.ly/10Hajc.
Natural, personalized, learner-driven literacy development is now possible for all non-writers and non-readers: Smart devices + talkwriting = reading and writing skills.
Customers are asking us whether WritingBuddy works on the iPad. While it was developed on the iPhone, WritingBuddy runs fine on iPads. After downloading the product and opening it, just click the 2X button in the lower right part of the screen the of the iPad and it will pop from 1X
to full screen display at 2X
Little fingers can make WritingBuddy jump and holler on the iPhone/iPod Touch, but the iPad gives them even more space to write power words.
There are typically two ways human beings learn to read and write: 1) through observation and play, by figuring out words they see a lot, like “exit” and “enter” at local stores, or by having a favorite book read to them over and over until they have memorized the text, and 2) through direct teaching. Both are very important to developing complete and fluent competence in the written language.
WritingBuddy and the interactive stories we are currently developing, make the first, natural, learner-driven way possible - in fact, they make it inevitable, if the software is made available and the learners are supported in its use. By making the power of the talking word processor and talking, learner-controlled stories available to very young children and other beginning reader/writers on the home laptop/desktop, iPhone, iPad and iPod, we are shifting the center of learning toward the day-to-day life of the learner in the family environment.
If we succeed in the home-based part of our mission, beginning reader/writers who use our apps will be much more successful in school. Preschoolers who have used the apps at home since they were 2 or 3 will come to school as capable users of the written language for their own, early childhood communicative purposes, and older struggling reader/writers will not have to struggle as much. People learning English as a foreign language will have constant, clear and intelligible verbal models through our WritingBuddy text-to-speech voices and will learn to read, write, and speak the language better, as they use it to communicate with English-speaking friends.
If we succeed in the school-based part of our mission, the nature of schools will be permanently changed, from institutions based upon externally-generated curricula to flexible centers dedicated to learner-interest-driven, personally-important knowledge development in each subject area, facilitated by teachers who are inventive users of all technologies, from books to smartphones.
Since fluency and creativity in oral and written language are the linchpins for learning in all other subject areas, we see a great opportunity before us.
When we started the WritingBuddy project a little over a year ago, I knew two things were good:
1. We now had the multi-sensory smart phones and pads as our delivery devices, and
2. We were able to offer the research-proven power of the talking word processor to all beginning writers, whether preschoolers, struggling writers or people learning English as a foreign language at a very low cost.
Our Cyber Monday price of $1.99 (grab it while you can!) is about 2% of the usual cost of a talking word processor and it runs on mobile devices. It is easily available to the learner of written language throughout the day on their family iPads or iPhones.
WritingBuddy is a true home-based learning tool that delivers a laboratory for the creation of written language.
Check us out in detail at www.drpeet.com.