... a thick, white and green plastic stylus that turns paper books into interactive playthings. LeapFrog is betting that the $50 Tag, which will be available this summer along with an 18-volume library that includes children’s classics like “The Little Engine That Could” and “Olivia,” will be the hit it badly needs. It calls the Tag its “biggest launch ever.”
The Tag, officially called the Tag Reading System, works a lot like the LeapPad. Children can tap a word with it and the stylus reads the word, or its definition, aloud. They can tap on an image to hear a character’s voice come alive. Interactive games test their reading comprehension. At its simplest, the Tag can also act as an audio book and simply read a story from beginning to end.
I love this idea. Imagine how useful this gadget would be in a classroom situation -- nothing beats one on one attention when a child is learning to read but it's often difficult for a teacher to get around to each child for a significant amount of time. Just as long as parents don't think it's an acceptable substitute for reading *with* their children. But as an additional tool, I can't think of anything better. My main concern is that they use really well-conceived and well-written children's books. The fact they're going to use Olivia is promising but on their promotional site they feature a SpongeBob something-or-other and some crappy-looking Pirates thing. Many of the tossed-off books they currently offer with the LeapPad simply aren't worth reading. I hope they don't make the same mistake here. Overall, though, I'm (cautiously) excited by this product and look forward to trying it out with Luke if they've got more than one "real" book on offer. Via ohdeedoh.