This month's "Take 5" post features five free iPhone apps (plus one free Android app) created by the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media. With these fun apps, designed for young children and their families to use together, you can go on a photo scavenger hunt, enhance family routines and engage in active, outdoor play.
The Fred Rogers Center website also is a stunning resource for early learning, with a wonderful blog and great tips for caregivers and early childhood educators. Of special note is their new early learning environment, ELE, designed to guide the use of digital media to support early learning and development.
As the start of an ongoing series of interviews with movers and shakers in the world of educational kids technology, I offer you an interview with Warren Buckleitner. Warren runs the Dust or Magic conference series, and is a writer, teacher, and founding editor of Children’s Technology Review. Continue reading →
Carisa Kluver's insight:
There aren't many individuals who make a bigger impact on children's digital content than Warren Buckleitner .. great interview.
Sourcebooks announced this morning that the Chicago-based publisher is adding the Peanuts gang to its Put Me in the Story digital platform, which allows parents to create personalized versions of children's books as an app or in print format.
I don’t think most people ask the right questions of themselves in regard to their art. They’ll question my decision to venture down this road while they themselves have been working for years trying to get picked by a publisher - sounds like a tough road. They’ll question how much money I’m making with my apps while they aren’t making much or any money with their artistic ventures.
One question I'm never asked is: What are you doing different to engage parents and children? I think people don't ask this one because they are afraid that they can't create something remarkable. I'm affraid of that too and we do spend a lot of time discussing it and working on it!
Carisa Kluver's insight:
Excellent, thoughtful and revealing piece from the talented author/illustrator Will Terry.
At the Launch Kids event at Digital Book World Conference this January, I found contradictions between what people belonging to research institutions were reporting from surveys, and what the publishing sector was conveying. One of these directly pertains to digital children’s books: PlayCollective was presenting survey results indicating that parents expressed continued willingness to purchase full-price ebooks, and more acceptance of the “all you can eat” subscription model.
But judging by how the sales are moving among the younger ages (that is, excluding Young Adult books) in the US, as reported by Nielsen Books at the conference, I don’t see that being reflected in their actual buying behavior …
I’m beginning to see evidence that we have evolved into the Planet of the Apps. Technology is controlling human communication, with the dominant species tweeting, twittering, texting, and taking and sending photos and videos with Instagram instead of conversing and cuddling. This is especially true for young children.
Carisa Kluver's insight:
In-depth post about the state of education and apps, with useful rubric guidelines around Child, Content & Context.
Among the most innovative, educationally-sound and prolific developers in the book app space is a company that is also one of my favorite to work with as a reviewer and blogger. What follows is a thoughtful and informative interview with the forward-thinking president of Oceanhouse Media, Michel Kripalani. Being first and best in a market this new and fast-changing is not an easy feat, but in this case, it is a well-deserved.
As part of the Little eLit “think tank”, I have learned a lot about what librarians need to know about the app world to serve their communities well in the digital age. Among the most common questions we get from librarians, teachers and the general public are questions about how to get apps for free or on a very tight budget. While we consistently recommend high quality paid apps in many of the blog posts we do, the reality is that many institutions have no budget at all for exploring the app world, especially the amount of content necessary to understand the diversity and range of quality within the app market.
Often, when training librarians and teachers about the digital shift and how to evaluate new media like book apps for children, they are overwhelmed. It is easy, when feeling this kind of anxiety to stick close to what is familiar.
As a result, most of the content that is ‘explored’ in app form is ‘tried and true’ or at least part of the fabric of popular culture. This favors some new transmedia content based on popular characters from television and movies, but primarily gives way to a market dominated by formerly print books, reworked more or less for a touch screen. One way for readers to take those first tentative steps away from the familiar titles on the digital bookshelf is to download apps for free. And there are (at least) five different categories of free apps to take into consideration:
Paula Cocozza: Tablet ownership has more than doubled in the past few years – and as many parents are finding, children are highly proficient at using them. But are these devices harmful to their development?
There are a lot of great models out there that I have seen for achieving a healthy media diet, but so far this one is the most useful for my own family. My son, age seven, understands this tool now well enough to apply it to his own requests for media in our home before asking one of his parents. When he does ask for media, he now begins with, “I know the answer is probably no, because the triangle had only one yes, but …” So, without further ado, here is the model I created, shared with my own family and tested out for a couple weeks: - See more at: http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=3112
Carisa Kluver's insight:
My thoughts on creating a model kids can internalize to manage their own media diets ...
“Describing yesterdays as if they were tomorrows”… That’s how author Hugh Howey recently characterized publishing predictions. There’s more than a grain of truth in his assessment.
Most efforts to forecast the future of publishing start with an assumption that the prevailing supply chain will somehow adjust. Time-honored roles like development and curation are said to prevail, and by extension the next moments will look like the past, just that much more digital.
Some less sanguine assessments predict the demise of reading as we know it. In this argument, gatekeeping – whether through editors, imprints or booksellers – is a service to readers, one that readers will sorely miss when the new order emerges.
The debate about ‘screen time’ and children continues to be a hot topic in the field of early childhood education. Among the most difficult questions I have to answer are the ones about app recommendations for children under three.
Recently, a reporter who covers Apple for the San Jose Mercury News, Patrick May, interviewed me for an article about the best apps for (very) young children. He was looking for one app for each age 1-5.