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Nosy Crow in the Early Years Classroom – a guest post by Gabriella Shelhot

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Gabriella Shelhot is a Stage 1 Teacher in Sydney, Australia, who’s kindly agreed to share with us her experience of using our apps in the classroom.

“I like the series Nosy Crow and the apps that they make because they tell you the story and you get to play the story at the same time.”
Year 2 Student

How many of you out there give a child an iPad to keep them occupied for half an hour while you’re getting dinner ready? How many of you download an app that is not meaningful or purposeful to your child? Or, how many of you out there get story apps that read to you and tell you when to turn the page in a monotone voice?

I was one of those people that could answer ‘yes’ to these questions, until I discovered Nosy Crow. I came across Nosy Crow while at the Young Learners Conference in Sydney. The conference went over two days and I heard many speakers from a variety of professions and companies discussing the rapidly moving digital age and the use of technology, particularly iPads in the classroom. Tom from Nosy Crow was the speaker whose message stuck with me the most. He came across as very passionate about the story apps that Nosy Crow create.

The next thing I knew he was showing us their latest story; their version of Jack and the Beanstalk. For about 10 minutes I felt like an excited child. Tom explained that Nosy Crow was all about “new incredible reading experiences” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s an experience that takes the reader on an adventure. One of the Year 2 students at school has described the Nosy Crow apps as allowing you to be “in control”. She explained, “I like the app Jack and the Beanstalk because you can rule the app the way you want to, it doesn’t rule it for you.” Even a Year 2 child understands the idea that certain apps taking control for you, rather than the user being in control.

At our small, one-stream school in Sydney we are very fortunate to have iPads to enhance teaching and learning opportunities. The question that was hovering around in the teachers’ mind was, how do we use them to their full potential and get the most out of teaching and learning?

Tom’s passion rubbed off on me and I was eager to bring the love for these story apps back to school. The children have found a great enjoyment for Jack and the Beanstalk and absolutely love the story. We recently purchased Little Red Riding Hood. The students use the apps during our Literacy sessions. The reason we went with Nosy Crow over a basic digital story is that the children are far more engaged. Every time a student uses the app there is a high level of participation in reading and of them being in control of learning.

Thank you, Gabriella! If you’ve not seen our Jack and the Beanstalk app before, you can watch the trailer below, and find it on the App Store here


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