Tales2Go.com • Retail price: $100 per year for five devices; bulk pricing available for schools
Tales2Go brings thousands of audiobooks, stories, and songs from name brand publishers and storytellers to desktops, laptops, or Apple mobile devices in the classroom and beyond, with access for Android coming soon. The 3,000 plus titles in the catalog are organized by grade level from pre-K through grade 8.
Ease of Use: What makes Tales2Go so effective is its simplicity. Users can literally search and stream materials from anywhere. Schools will also have access to bulk licenses, which can be used for as little as 10 or as many as 100 devices, making it ideal for individual or group listening. Users can search by keyword, category, or more specific criteria, such as genre, language, grade level, or popular series, such as 39 Clues.
Creative Use of Technology: Tales2Go’s strength is not in how great its technology looks, but in how little technology you need to know to make it work. All you need is a computer and Internet, and you have instant access to content that stretches throughout all grade levels and across the curriculum.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Tales2Go is more than just for listening pleasure. It is also a great tool for teaching sequencing, comprehension, fluency, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and listening skills. Tales2Go also added the Accelerated Reader data package to their desktop player (with mobile iOS access coming soon.) Teachers can take advantage of links to adaptable literacy activities, many of which require nothing more than a flip chart, markers, and index cards. Aspiring writers can also craft their own tales using downloadable story maps.
• Students learn sequencing, comprehension, fluency, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary, while listening to professionallyread stories.
• For an annual fee, schools get unlimited access to a library of 3,000 (and growing) titles that can be listened to simultaneously on multiple devices.
• In addition to listening to audiobooks, teachers can download easily adaptable activities from the company Web site that are aligned to state standards, to complement the stories and enhance the curriculum.
OVERALL RATING: Tales2Go not only gives students access to literature customized to their own interests, it also challenges them to go beyond their current reading ability.