About WriteReader

Learn to read by writing

WriteReader is an  app for iPad, for children at the age of 3-10 years old, which teaches the children to read by writing. The app is developed and is tested primary by schoolteachers in cooperation with leading Danish scientific researchers.

The app is based on scientific research showing the increased meaningfulness and efficiency that can be achieved when children start to write concurrently with the process of learning to read. With this app and a little help from an adult, children, from the age of 4, will be able to create books and thereby improve their skills in both writing and reading at the same time. WriteReader is tested and developed in cooperation with scientific researchers from The Danish School of Education.

The methods behind the app have been thoroughly tested in Danish classrooms over a period of 18 months on children of 4-6 years of age. Furthermore, the app itself has been tested by two American families with children of 5-8 years of age. These tests were supervised and documented by scientific researchers from The Danish School of Education and showed that the children found it motivating using the app and that the parents could register a series of positive effects even in the relatively short period of the testing.

“The app has been beneficial in our family. The kids have enjoyed it. My daughter has written a lot of things she would not normally have written and the platform does that she can do it with a minimum of help.”

Kim Kimberly, mother of a boy at 5 and a girl at 7

“Flynn’s spelling has improved. Lyla actually improving knowing to put question marks and periods in the end of the sentences, which is something that she hasn’t known up till now.”

Kara Mann, mother of a boy at 8 and a girl at 6

Meaningful learning tool

Though build upon years of research, the app is very easy to use. The WriteReader app is a great supplement to the more difficult and complicated phonetic method, where the children must rehearse and get conversant with the sounds of the letters in order to use the written language actively and in a meaningful way. Thus the app gives any adult, able to write, the opportunity of supporting children presently and effectively in their early development of reading and writing skills.

WriteReader is a learning tool enabling children all the way down to the age of 3, to create their own books and learn to read and write in the process. The books can be about any subject that the child finds interesting – toys, animals, holidays, family or fictional stories based on the child’s own photos and drawings. Older children can also benefit from using the app when learning English or other languages.

The app is based on the ideas of ‘learning to read by writing’ and ‘writing and discovering’ where the child uses its current level of written language abilities to create a text to a picture taken with the iPad. The child tells an adult what he/she has written after which the adult can write the text in conventional writing. When the child compares its writing with the writing of the adult, spelling of often used words as well as significant nuances and elements of the written language is registered by the child and these experiences can be used on longer terms in the learning process. The app can also be used by younger children who can use the recording function to tell their stories, which subsequently can be put into writing by an adult.

The books created by the children can, via the adult writing be read by others and thereby give children at preschool age the experience and joy of creating and using the written language in an authentic and meaningful way. The children’s books can be converted to PDF-files and be sent to friends and family via the mail programme of the iPad. Furthermore it is also possible to have the books designed in ready-to-print pages, which can be printed and assembled to booklets.

The process and the developer

WriteReader is created by primary school teacher Janus Madsen. Janus has created teaching resources and taught many children to read for 15 years. The app is based on Janus’ experiences from the classrooms and Janus has tested the basic principles of the app for an 18-month period before beginning the developing and has achieved very positive results by teaching children in kindergarten as well as 1st and 2nd graders using the principles.

The development of the app is co-financed by the Danish Ministry of Science and Technology and this has enabled a close cooperation with a team of scientific researchers from Danish School of Education. The project was headed by associate professor and PhD Jeppe Bundsgaard, who has specialized in the use of ICT in teaching Danish and didactics, and the result was a very positive review of the app and its use.

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