Featured Member: Eiry Rees Thomas

Writing became a second career for me following a serious accident that closed the chapter on my work as a public health professional, peripatetic teacher, and medical translator.

Growing up among a Welsh/UK family that included a poet, illustrator, and a calligrapher/sculptor provided creative inspiration, influenced greatly by Welsh tradition and culture. The musicality of the Welsh language influences my lyrical writing, described in Welsh as ‘telynegol’ or harp-like, that is true to my Celtic roots.

My experiences in the field of child development and the privilege of having worked with children and families with special needs contribute to my work as a bilingual author and curriculum content creator.

My current initiative, titled The Flitlits, follows many years of research, development and pilot work at schools in the UK and beyond. Its aims are to raise literacy and numeracy standards, to generate creativity, to celebrate reading and diversity, and to enhance social and emotional development.

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Wading through scores of mobile apps to zero in on those that truly suit your needs can be a daunting task. Information found within app profiles may be insufficient or irrelevant. Fortunately, popular lists and sites can help, and those featuring commentary by experienced app reviewers are a gold mine.

As an educator and children’s app creator, excellent app review sites are important to me. For book-related apps, my favorites include: Teachers with Apps, the Educational App Storethe Book App AllianceKidLit TVKnow What’s Inside, and ACT. These sites provide valuable guidance to parents and teachers and contain reviews written by caring, knowledgeable experts.

Whether it’s for education, entertainment, or other purposes, it is important for consumers to understand an app’s features and functionality before making a purchase. This is particularly important for apps intended for children’s use.

Parents, teachers, and caregivers should know which advertising networks the developers use, how children’s privacy is ensured, and whether the digital product offers in-app purchases. Understanding the purpose of an app, its features, its performance, and its safety are crucial.

Quality digital technology for children is often developed collaboratively, with teachers, parents, and children playing a role in every phase. Great apps motivate children to explore and to enjoy learning while offering feedback that allows them to correct mistakes. Their carefully curated content promotes deep learning strategies and critical thinking skills.

As an author and curriculum content developer, I meticulously ensured that my story app series, The Flitlits, exemplifies the very best in children’s digital products. This fun, educational app series for young learners is downloadable via iTunes. It is available in Welsh, English and US English, is heavily researched, provides lesson planning support for educators, and includes several special features (e.g., our “Tap on the Map” section) that will delight young audiences. You can read more about the series on The Flitlits’ website.

Working as an author can be a solitary experience. The welcoming community of KidLit TV has been invaluable to me in this regard. KitLit TV is a storehouse of multimedia interviews with authors and illustrators, booklists, and book reviews for readers of all ages. Their tutorials on book trailer creation and animation are excellent, as are their step-by-step drawing lesson videos. From up-to-the-minute news to their commitment to promoting diversity in children’s literature, KidLit TV will always be an indispensable resource for me.

Thank you for featuring me as a member of this awesome community!

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Map from The Flitlits

 

Here are additional ways you can learn more about and experience Eiry’s work:
The Flitlits at Palmerston Middle School
The Flitlits/Y Sbridion App Video
Review by the Educational App Store
Teachers With Apps Review
Know What’s Inside

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3 CommentsLeave a Comment

Kid Lit TV Commenter erthom1

Thanks so much to all at KidlitTV for this truly appreciated privilege. The Flitlits are rather delighted also!

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Kid Lit TV Commenter writersideup

Eiry, this looks wonderful! I’ve given the link to my teacher daughter-in-law and her Elementary School Principal mom :) Love the description of “harp-like” writing :)

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Kid Lit TV Commenter erthom1

Thank you so much. I appreciate your comments and the sharing of details about my writing. ‘The Flitlits’ initiative is multi-modal, with Welsh and English print books/ first and second language versions having already been published. Ebooks are planned this year and children with sight impairment are welcome to borrow CDs of the stories free of charge at: http://www.llyfraullafarcymru.org.uk/en/. They’re distributed internationally.

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