PHOENIX (KSAZ) –  Kids tend to have some of the most creative ideas around.

That is why Pearson's Research and Innovation Network in Chandler is asking kids to help design an app to teach toddlers to read.

Students from 2nd to 7th grade spent the year brainstorming.

Kids and researchers teaming up to design a literacy app for toddlers to use on tablets and smartphones.

“The Pearson kids team is working on designing an early literacy mobile app to support vocabulary,” said Lisa Maurer.

“We think of ideas to make new things for Pearson and help other kids learn,” said Satthvik Chanduptla.

Every week a group of eight elementary school kids show up at the digital lab to face a different design challenge.

“We're learning new things about how to help kids read, and how to make apps, and how they behind the scene make apps,” said Briana Jamerson.

Since they learned to read a few years ago these kids know what works and what doesn't.

“I had an idea for an app for a reading book to teach kids about how it tells you the definition and how you would click an audio button on how to read,” said Jamerson.

Drawing upon decades of research, Pearson's managers get lots of input from students about how to design the app.

“I've come up with a way to see the words the kids are seeing in the environment, and how they're being used in the environment,” said Matthew Mularoni.

The students spend the school year involved in the design process from development to testing.

“They're gonna be able to see the usability tests we conduct with 4-year-olds,” said Maurer.

“We had to go back and think for younger ages, so I had to go back and think simpler,” said Jamerson.

The kids will give their feedback on the app once it is finished in the spring.

The Pearson's Kids Team Program launched this summer. Researchers say it is a great way to find out what students want from digital learning tools.

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