Mexican children spend 4 hours playing on a smart device and less than one minute reading. 1/2 of Mexico's school kids won't finish a single book outside of class this year. Something needed to be done about this problem. So Cengage Learning in partnership with National Geographic came up with a plan that maximizes kids' behavior in the best possible way. ReadOn is an app that turns the tablets home screen in to a page form a book. The child has to read it and then answer a question before the device is unlocked. The following page is saved for the next time but if the kid wants to keep reading, he has that option, too. Meanwhile his parents can track the progress by their phone.
If the kid likes the book, he can heart it to notify the parents, too! They can even purchase a book from the app which is awesome.
Really fun idea. I love how it's attempting behavior modification. But It also says a lot about how bad parents are at teaching their kids the value of learning. And yes, the fault lies with them. They can't blame teachers as education begins at home.
As for apps in general, I have to say kids are smarter at hacking the system then we give them credit for. So how effective will this really be in the long run and what is it teaching kids? It's teaching them that reading is a chore. It's akin to a password or a captcha. Do this to get the reward. We should be teaching kids that reading is the reward.
Also, parents should act like parents. I'd rather say "read twenty pages of this book and then you can play Minecraft," and have my kid complain for a second until they get lost in the book than to be held hostage by a device that Google uses to mine data from my child, let alone my data.
And if you think that's impossible, you don't understand how to get kids interested in stuff. Not to brag but I can get my daughter to read the same books I read back when I was a kid, just by painting a vivid picture of what she'll miss out on if she doesn't. I also stress the importance of an imagination which by the way, we shouldn't ever lose. And there's no app required.

Client: Cengage Learning Agency: FCB Auckland Regional Executive Creative Director FCB Auckland: James Mok Executive Creative Director: Tony Clewett Creative: Matt Williams Creative: Freddie Coltart Creative Services Director:Jenni Doubleday President FCB Mexico: Eric Descombes Executive Creative Director: Humberto Polar Creative Director: Federico Macko Producer: Julio César López/Héctor Méndez Account Manager: Victoria Boisbouvier Head of Content: Pip Mayne Producer: Sonali de Silva Head of Motion Design/Editor: Blair Walker Motion Designer/Editor: Corban Koschak Head of Media PR, Activation & Social: Angela Spain Corporate Communications Manager: Stephanie Sipe Senior Account Director PR: Joanna James Digital Creative Director: Matt Barnes Executive Digital Producer: James McMullan Lead Interactive Designer: Andrew Jackson Digital Designer: Martin Paunov Digital Developers: Rush Digital Ltd Chief Technical Officer: Danushka Abeysuriya Global Account Manager: Ghanum Taylor Lead Developer: Adrian Van Nierop Producer: Robert Godoy Production Company: Zombies TV Production Company Producer: Eric Tapia/Armando De La Peña DOP: Manolo Velasco