Dictionary.com

Learning to Read with Zoo AnimalsFew things are as empowering as a deep and robust vocabulary. As poet and lexicographer Wilfred Funk put it, “The more words you know, the more clearly and powerfully you will think… and the more ideas you will invite into your mind.” At Dictionary.com, we strive to deliver content and products that not only delight and prove useful for our users, but also broaden and deepen their relationships with language to feed and grow this innate appetite for knowledge.

With this in mind, we are excited to announce our first educational app for children, Learning to Read with Zoo Animals. The app is based on successful curricula endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education, and takes emerging readers on a fun-filled, interactive journey through the animal kingdom while boosting vocabulary and building the foundation for lifelong learning. In addition to beautiful illustrations, syllabifications, and real animal sounds, the app is packed with age-appropriate definitions and fun facts for more than 50 animals that will fascinate and delight preschool and kindergarten-aged children, and might teach their parents a thing or two, as well. For instance, did you know that though polar bears’ hair looks white, it’s actually made of clear hollow tubes that help them stay warm in the cold? Or how about that giraffes sleep for only four hours a night? Children can test their knowledge in a quiz mode at the end of each scene, and gain sticker rewards for correct answers.

As mobile technologies become increasingly ubiquitous in all of our lives, the debate about the merits of time spent with those technologies becomes more pertinent. It’s our belief that digital technologies–especially mobile ones–can facilitate and enrich learning in exciting and innovative ways, and we are thrilled to be creating brand-new educational experiences that kids will love, and parents and teachers will feel great about. Learning to Read with Zoo Animals is the first in a series of educational apps for kids from Dictionary.com. Learn more in the video below and let us know what you think!

View the app in the iTunes App Store.

20 Comments

  1. Kyna Mavies -  April 29, 2014 - 2:17 am

    Hi! Thank you for your article, my kids love animals and I’ve been looking for information like these. I found a great video on the topic of Animal ABCS by Animal Atlas.

    The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eALcQDnupM !

    Thanks again

    Reply
  2. [...] As mobile technologies become increasingly ubiquitous in all of our lives, the debate about the merits of time spent with those technologies becomes more pertinent. It’s our belief that digital technologies–especially mobile ones–can facilitate and enrich learning in exciting and innovative ways, and we are thrilled to be creating brand-new educational experiences that kids will love, and parents and teachers will feel great about. Learning to Read with Zoo Animals is the first in a series of educational apps for kids from Dictionary.com. Learn more in the video below and let us know what you think!  [...]

    Reply
  3. Satkomuni -  August 21, 2013 - 1:59 pm

    Thank you, Todd, for an extremely helpful comment! I had wondered about whether this was a good idea.

    Reply
  4. Tommy -  August 21, 2013 - 1:30 pm

    bobby said “The naming of this app is short-sited” Perhaps he needs some basic education in spelling too. ;-)

    Reply
  5. MGSYR -  August 21, 2013 - 10:53 am

    @bobby: Lighten up!

    Reply
  6. Heather -  August 21, 2013 - 3:38 am

    Wish it was on Android

    Reply
  7. Jane -  August 20, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    Great idea since kids are like sponges, learning effortlessly in the early years as they learn to read with little effort, without doubting their abilities, as happens to 6 year olds all the time in government schools where classrooms launch them into comparing themselves to some preordained norm. It is only in our government schools that kids are guided to move at a pre-determined slow pace, so everyone matches by fourth grade. Private schools and home schools don’t have kids plateau. For instance, thousands have learned to read in Montessori schools by age 4 since the 1970s and have gone on to continue that independent development. My own children continued with honors in college and many of our advances have come from others who learned to read early in Montessori and continued to be independent thinkers: those starting Amazon, Google, wikipedia, Sims, Peter Drucker, (Diary of) Anne Frank, Prince William and Harry, Jackie Kennedy, and thousands more. Just think of what reading early does for kids and how much more they can learn and understand, so it leads to overall higher levels of learning.

    Reply
  8. G -  August 20, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    “A lion is a light brown cat.”

    I’m pretty sure it’s not that light, if it has recently fed.

    Not to be all grammarian on you, but “light-brown” would help — you could even accidentally teach hyphenation while you’re simplifying their entirety.

    Reply
  9. natalie -  August 20, 2013 - 3:43 pm

    boring

    Reply
  10. Anony Mous -  August 19, 2013 - 1:59 pm

    BBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!

    Reply
  11. Ajar Muhammad "Khalil" -  August 19, 2013 - 7:15 am

    i am going to home

    Reply
  12. Ajar Muhammad "Khalil" -  August 19, 2013 - 7:12 am

    a im going to home

    Reply
  13. Shannon -  August 19, 2013 - 5:32 am

    This is something I would be interested in but, like 50% of the population in North America, I don’t have and iPhone or iPad. Let me know when you have something for Android please!

    Reply
  14. Beverly -  August 19, 2013 - 5:21 am

    Is it only available for mobile devices? How do I get it?

    Reply
  15. Ritu Gupta -  August 18, 2013 - 7:17 pm

    Found the demo quite valuable.

    Reply
  16. / -  August 18, 2013 - 5:46 pm

    hoj;

    Reply
  17. bobby -  August 18, 2013 - 3:43 pm

    The naming of this app is short-sited. There are no such animals as “zoo animals.” Animals do not belong in a zoo or to a zoo. Children should be taught that animals have natural habitats and a zoo is certainly not one of them.

    Reply
  18. Cyberquill -  August 18, 2013 - 6:49 am

    Does this app feature olinguitos already, or will they be included in an upcoming version?

    Reply
  19. Todd -  August 17, 2013 - 9:31 am

    Dear Friends,
    First of all, I am a teacher and I frequently use your site to swiftly discover the meanings of uncommon/forgotten words that I can weave into my lessons. I read the blurb about Dictionary.com’s new “Learning to Read with Zoo Animals” app and see that it is a very well packaged product. Though, I am also aware that (are you ready?) there has never been a study that proves that reading early improves reading aptitude, futrue interest in reading or intelligence.* Yup, I actually said never. While your product does meet the need of a popular fad in parenting (early reading is very desirable), it does not actually aid in future reading. I do see that you referenced the U.S Department of Education’s study on this “successful” curriculum. Unfortunately, this study only represents a very short term burst in a child’s understanding/aptitude. After fourth grade, that improvement will level off indefinitely, as shown in countless long term studies. In conclusion, I am happy that your company (which I truly do appreciate) is making money on a new app. Though, I do feel that it is at the expense of the children whom you say you are helping.

    * This is not to mention that children’s brain development is focused on the right hemisphere of their brain until around age 6. If reading (a left hemisphere activity) is focused upon at that time, then they are more likely to learn to read using their right hemisphere. Dyslexia occurs when the right side of the brain is used for reading; instead of the left side. Do the math. =)
    This is also not to mention that “screen time” for children has been clearly proven to be a detriment to young children’s brain development. For example, all “educational” Baby Einstein videos for children ages birth to three have been recalled for years. Does your app have a warning that it could be harmful if used for children who are three or under?
    I really could go on and on.

    Reply
  20. Steven -  August 16, 2013 - 1:12 pm

    Too bad not on android

    Reply

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