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Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Stephanie Dua spent the last ten years pushing for educational reform, first as the CEO of the Fund for Public Schools under former Chancellor of New York’s Department of Education, Joel Klein, and Caroline Kennedy, before becoming senior advisor to David Coleman at Student Achievement Partners (SAP). But as much time as she spent as a reformer on “the inside,” when it came time for Dua’s daughter to learn how to read, she struggled to find any quality materials for parents that could help get their kids started on the right path.
With the help of former Google engineer Iris Tang, Dua created Learn With Homer, a business and reading app for the iPad of the same name, which launched on the App Store this week. The idea was to transform how kids age 3 to 6 learn how to read, but not just by creating another eBook or cute little game-ified learning app for the iPad.
Instead, Dua and Tang wanted to bring together the latest educational research, learning techniques and teaching practices to create a better learning experience for both kids and parents. And one, importantly, that is aligned with the new standards of the Common Core, so that parents have assurance that their kids will start school (or kindergarten) ahead of the curve. To do so, the app blends a whole mess of custom learning content and stories taken from fairy tales, fables, and various mythologies with some killer, custom illustrations and art to make the content more engaging for young eyeballs.