This blog post is special because I’m going to announce the launch of a special project, the Carmel Therapy Dog app. The app launched and it is currently in beta testing on android devices, soon to be followed by beta testing on iPhones. This project merges my professional career in education, my personal interest in dog therapy and providing it in schools, and developers’ innovative concept of an interactive application that includes children’s books, games, virtual therapy, and opportunities for expressing thinking in writing and art and more. I think that the benefits of this application will be substantial for children and their parents, as well as teachers. Please read more details below as it has more information added based on recently added new features.
First, the app will host my newest book for children in which my therapy dog teaches them how to recognize the differences in other children as inspirational and uplifting. Beyond that, the book will offer concrete strategies that teachers can implement with students in the classroom to help them in creating a truly more inclusive community of learners who respect each other and even learn to see brilliance in children’s diverse ways of existing in the classroom and beyond.
In addition, the Carmel Therapy Dog app will also contain games inspired by therapy provided by my dog. The games will be both entertaining and helping children release negative emotions, as well as understand that obstacles in their lives can be seen as wonderful opportunities to overcome these obstacles.
Children will also be able to pet virtual Carmel. I realize that not all children have access to therapy dogs in schools and, yet, I know that dog therapy benefits are tremendous. Therefore, the virtual dog therapy will bring the idea about these benefits to many children and therefore also to teachers and schools.
Moreover, the app will encourage children to express themselves multimodally. They will write stories inspired by interactions with Carmel and will be able to upload their own photos, such as photos of their dogs, and transform them to change their style and even make them look like paintings. Children will also be able to make their own books by using a book creator. In this way, the app will serve as a platform that publishes young writers’ expressions to empower them and give them exposure they truly deserve. Moreover, children will be able to search for free images and particular dog breeds and make their own reels (videos) not associated with Instagram reels.
Additionally, young writers will be able to collaborate remotely on authoring one piece of writing and even nurture their own curiosity. Because dogs are curious, children can learn a lot from them about how to approach learning about the world. Children and teachers will find Carmel’s curiosity tools inspiring and helpful in nurturing natural curiosity and taking it to the next level, such as building knowledge about topics of children’s interests. In addition, further improvements are underway to help children in becoming curious. In a new children’s book that is currently in progress, Carmel will teach children how to ask questions about a topic of their interest and build more knowledge about the topic.
Overall, this app will serve as a humanizing experience for children. Through interactions with my dog character, they will learn about themselves, their emotions, ways of coping with many feelings, ways of expressing themselves, and how the love for animals is a huge piece of the puzzle of human existence. Every other aspect of this app such as books, games, app own reels, and other features are also carefully designed, safe to use, and will contribute to the overarching goals we carefully thought about.
In addition, I will invite other children’s book authors to publish their books on this application.
To receive updates on the project, please go to my website: https://barbaravokatis.web.app