UH releases free Hawaii educational app for tablets

Published On: Nov 25 2013 01:56:19 PM HST
Updated On: Nov 25 2013 01:56:51 PM HST
HONOLULU -

The University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Education's Curriculum Research and Development Group, Literacy and Hawaiian Education Office, has announced the release of its first mobile tablet application developed by the Piha Pono project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Native Hawaiian Education Program.

The Pihana ABCs app is a free interactive alphabet primer and coloring book, designed to support the development of key early literacy skills.

Like the original paperback rendition, this app is a collaborative product of CRDG, UH Manoa, and the Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Student Support, Hawai'i Department of Education.

The paperback version has been widely disseminated and used throughout elementary schools in Hawai'i.  As a mobile app, the product is more accessible to families and schools, and offers more engaging and interactive activities for children working independently or with guidance.

"The app is a wonderful educational tool to help children develop foundational early literacy skills addressed in the Common Core State Standards for English Arts and Literacy. It incorporates concepts about print, phonemic awareness, alphabetic understanding and vocabulary development," said CRDG's Hugh Dunn, principal investigator for Piha Pono.

Much more than a coloring tool, the app features a new letter on each page with playful alliterative phrases and illustrations that reflect Hawaii's culture. It is available to the general public for free download onto mobile tablets from iTunes (iOS) or onto mobile tablets via Google Play (Android).

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