What is a story app? 

An interactive story app allows kids to explore the relationships between words, pictures and ideas through different interactive features — leading to more engagement and learning than from a typical book. You can see some common features below.

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Self-Narration

Text automatically animates each word as it is read aloud.

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Tap To Read

Tap each word to highlight and read it aloud.

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Iconimation

Tap words to reveal simple illustrations.

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Linked Text & Graphics

Tap graphics to highlight and play associated text, or tap text to play associated animations.

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Decision Nodes

Embed decisions within the story, and allow learners to choose by tapping images.

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Story Branching

Create cause-and-effect story branches, so the story changes based on learner decisions.

What is Curious Reader? 

Curious Reader is a platform to let anyone author apps with these features, so anyone can build or localize learning apps that would otherwise cost $10,000s or $100,000s. This platform consists of four main pieces:

1. Player App

This is an app that plays Curious Reader files, like a gaming console plays video games: it reads in a set of graphics, audio, and text assets and a file that specifies how these assets are related to each other and to Curious Reader interactive features, and transforms this file into a playable app. The player includes the code for core interactive features, so each file can simply reuse these features instead of needing them to be rebuilt from scratch.

2. Curious Reader File

This file encodes the text, graphic, and audio assets that make up apps. It tells the player how build story apps and games by combining these assets with Curious Reader features: what text, audio, and graphics go on each page; where these objects go on the page; what audio timestamp is associated with which words; and what interactive features are included and how they are triggered.

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3. Authoring Tools

A web-based tool lets anyone author Curious Reader apps without software development by manipulating graphics, text and interactive features. Users can import and localize existing story apps; import EPUB picture books; or create from scratch by adding text, audio, images and interactive features.

4. Content library

A library of Curious Reader content provides a scaffolded path to decoding, when children can transition to reading eBooks, ready to be augmented and localized to new languages by Curious Learning and our partners.

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We’re looking for pilot partners

We’re looking for partners in 2019 to create and share learning apps using the Curious Reader platform — by localizing our existing apps, converting eBooks into apps, and co-creating new apps. We’ll focus on partners who can then share these apps with kids via their parent smartphones or through school- and community-based devices. Such partners could include the following.

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Media Projects

Like TV or Radio programs that can use Curious Reader to adapt their characters and stories into apps, and use programming to share these apps with parents.

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Schools

With teachers who can adapt and create early learning apps and then share with directly with parents, or use on in-school laptops or tablets.

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eBook Projects

With eBooks that can become interactive story apps. Program staff, teachers or volunteers can use Curious Reader to convert eBooks to apps.

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Nonprofits

With project staff who can localize and create learning apps, and programs to share these apps with parents or to use in community centers with devices.

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Tech Companies

Like phone manufacturers or network operators can promote learning apps through their distribution network as part of education-focused marketing.