This is not a post about an app I've been using. This is a second hand review.
On facebook recently I posted about father-son iPhone time which allowed me to get some exercise. Part way through that little spinning session Julian put down Jonas' iPod touch and asked me for my iPhone. Luckily I had put it down in favor of a magazine of the dead-tree variety.I asked him why he wanted my phone, and he answered that he wanted to write his letters. By this he meant "iWriteWords". This is remarkable because both my phone and jonas' iPod are loaded with engaging games that have little in the way of redeeming features. Instead of "bounce on" or "spy bot", he wants to trace a little crab around the screen, following numbers on the way to writing letters.
I think he really enjoys the sounds that it plays. It also includes a voice offering enthusiastic congratulations when he completes a task. I think it is fascinating for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that this app is only possible because of the handy little high quality touchscreen that is currently widely available. The second reason is that it is one of those rare times that something intended to be educational is more attractive to him than stuff intended purely for amusement.
I don't have any real data about whether this app is helping him to learn his letters, except for one recent example. Yesterday we were working on a light brite (remember those?) pattern, and he was very good at finding particular letters to signify pegs of a given color. Seem promising...
How fun to watch his agile young brain work through these ideas on such different platforms!