Children’s tablets were a hot topic at CES 2013 with Polaroid, OLPC, Lexibook, and other firms showing off their latest, and Scholastic is working hard to offer content for those gadgets. They’ve recently announced plans for offering more titles and supporting more gadgets.
Scholastic launched Storia in March 2012, and is working to leverage their existing experience with children’s books and educational content into a customized digital reading platform. The platform is designed to make it easy for parents and teachers to find and buy age appropriate reading material which kids will like. The ebooks are available as individual titles, bundles, and you can even get 5 free ebooks when you sign up. Storia offers around 1,800 regular ebooks as well as 500 “enriched” ebooks with animation, audio, and interactivity.
“Enriched books are incredibly popular with kids,” said Forte, adding that there’s been some controversy around ebooks with enrichments. “People assume they distract. We are not finding that because you can turn off the interactivity in Storia. Storia enriched ebooks are more of what kids, parents and teachers want. We found that they generated excitement around reading, especially among reluctant readers.”
At the moment Storia offers a catalog of 2,300 titles which can be read on android devices, iPads, and in Windows, but in the next few months they plan to expand their catalog to 3,500 titles. “Kids are part of a new media culture that we are not,” said Scholastic Media president Deborah Forte, speaking at a recent conference, adding, “One size fits all doesn’t fit kids e-reading.” At the same time, Storia is also planning to release an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Scholastic also recently launched a new reading manager dashboard which will allow parents and teachers to better monitor their kids’ reading progress.