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"Babies are primed to learn language—any language—while still in the womb, and are born ready to continue the task. Takao Hensch, an HMS professor of neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital, puts it this way, “All infants are born as citizens of the world, meaning that an infant born in Japan could just as easily acquire English as Japanese or any other language.”
The newborn brain is highly plastic; that is, it can readily form new synaptic connections, the types of connections that are vital to processing the continuous streams of new information infants glean from what they hear, see, and touch. Research shows that in the early postnatal period, an infant’s brain forms an abundance of neural connections, and then, over time and in response to environmental influences and experience, pares those connections that are not useful. In language development, this process of perceptual narrowing, says Hensch, allows the brain to rewire itself to better represent its native speech or language. Hensch, whose research focuses on how early life experience physically shapes the brain, adds that “the brain is simply doing what it is good at. It is retaining that which is important and removing that which is not.”- Takao Hensch
Highlights of the Pew Internet Project’s research related to mobile technology
Paul Zak's research is uncovering how stories shape our brains, tie strangers together, and move us to be more empathic and generous.
We learn through stories: "evidence supports the view of some narrative theorists that there is a universal story structure. These scholars claim every engaging story has this structure, called the dramatic arc. It starts with something new and surprising, and increases tension with difficulties that the characters must overcome, often because of some failure or crisis in their past, and then leads to a climax where the characters must look deep inside themselves to overcome the looming crisis, and once this transformation occurs, the story resolves itself. " -Paul Zak
ABSTRACT: This article examines whether exposure to the arts has an effect on the ability of students to engage in critical thinking. We conduct a randomized controlled trial involving 3,811 students who were assigned by lottery to participate in a School Visit Program at the newly opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Students who participated in the School Visit Program demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting. These effects were larger for students from more disadvantaged backgrounds. In light of recent declines in the availability of the arts for disadvantaged populations, our results have important policy implications for efforts to restore and expand access to the arts.
Interesting overview of the birth of Kindoma Storytime based on Joint Media Engagement,
"the notion that children learn more when they consume educational media with adults in their lives, by designing their shows to be enjoyed by both young and old together. We brought to the table the technology expertise to help extend these ideas to family interactions at a distance." - Kindoma blog
The Secret Location's very own VP and Creative Director, Pietro Gagliano, dropped by our class to talk about interactive digital story telling and transmedia. Pietro showed us extensive and impress...
Case studies from Pietro Gagliano from The Secret Location.
HTML5 to the rescue...
It's well known that kids' mobile consumption is on the rise, but a new report from Common Sense Media measures just how much growth has occurred in two years--and especially among two-year-olds, with 38% of toddlers and infants now using a mobile...
"The average amount of time children spend using mobile devices has tripled, from five minutes a day to 15 minutes a day, and the percentage of children with access to some sort of smart mobile device at home has jumped from half 52% to three-quarters 75%. Moreover, the number of kids who’ve used mobile devices has nearly doubled, from 38% to 72%.
Perhaps the most telling stats from the report are that 38% of toddlers and infants under two are now using a mobile device, compared to only 10% in 2011, and this age group spends more than twice as much time watching television and DVDs (55 minutes) as it does reading or being read to (19 minutes)." -Wendy Goldman Getzier
Read more: http://kidscreen.com/2013/10/28/mobile-usage-soars-among-us-kids-and-toddlers/#ixzz2krfSkqoS
Play-I is developing Bo and Yana, robots that teach kids five and older some of the the basic concepts behind programming. Using a visual programming interface that weaves music, stories, and animation, children are encouraged to think strategically with if-then statements that guide the robots along. The robots are expected to ship in summer 2014. In this guest post, Play-I CEO Vikas Gupta explains how even the youngest kids can learn to program through playful exploration.-Vikas Gupta
As Finland looks to boost its profile as an international startup hub, the country is turning its attention toward tech-oriented youth training programs.
"This doesn't necessarily mean first-graders will be developing apps. Rather, it's part of an effort to encourage the development of tech skills at an early age."
Facebook made a startling admission in its earnings announcement this month: it was seeing a “decrease in daily users, specifically among teens”. In other words, teenagers are still on Facebook; they’re just not using it as much as they did.
Best way to find out where the teens are is to meaningfully connect with them. By the time articles like this come out, it's old news. ; ) IMHO As soon as their parents find out, they move to the latest chat app.
The leading discovery platform for 6-16 kids in the UK, founded by a track record team responsible for some of the top games and technology brands in Europe.
Safe & effective way to engage kids & teens.
In part three of our New York Comic Con interview special, Calvin speaks with Jeff Gomez about the new religious graphic novel imprint Vital Shift, Kate talks with Jane Espenson and Brad Bell, writers and co-creators of the webseries and graphic...
"transmedia apostle" Jeff Gomez discusses the difference between transmedia storytelling and licensing, his involvement with the new religious imprint Vital Shift and how transmedia creates an architecture of dialogue for readers
Breaking down story in every medium. A project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
A treasure trove of inspiration around storytelling. Go ahead, get lost. ; )
Can it really be done? Can you take a brand that’s well established in the print world and move it to digital? You might think that’s a silly question as it’s already been done many times....
"Is your brand closely aligned with the concept of print? If so, regardless of your current strategy you need to honestly assess how far you can stretch that brand into digital. Even if you believe your print-to-digital transition has been successful, take a hard look at your digital-first competitors then ask yourself this last question: If I had the chance to do it all over again, would I recommend we follow the same strategy we did originally or would we have been better off creating a totally new brand? " -Joe Wikert
The man behind Madden NFL is using gaming technology to teach children emotional intelligence.
"But Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist at Harvard and author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age, is concerned that kids and their parents already spend too much time on devices.
"Nothing — no new app, no new game — can replace the old truth, I think, that children thrive, that families thrive, in the context of healthy real-life relationships," she says.
Still, Steiner-Adair says, a game that helps kids practice skills like listening and working through difficult emotions might be useful if it's played in moderation. "I am cautious, but I am guardedly optimistic that there could be some kind of computer game that could strengthen children's social and emotional intelligence," she says.
In the end, even Hawkins is the first to admit that kids won't actually play this game or learn anything unless the game is fun."
Great article explaining why HtmL5 is important to kids content creators: 5 billion mobile devices to play on!
Museum visits increase test scores, generate social responsibility and increase appreciation of the arts by students.
"Moreover, most of the benefits we observed are significantly larger for minority students, low-income students and students from rural schools — typically two to three times larger than for white, middle-class, suburban students — owing perhaps to the fact that the tour was the first time they had visited an art museum." - Brian Kisada, New York Times
With tablets dominating US Black Friday sales last weekend, a takeover appears to be in full swing.
"The November 2013 PBS Kids and ORCInternational survey of 1,000 US parents with kids between the ages of two and 10 found that 54% of parents plan to purchase or give a tech item to the kids this holiday season. The number is even higher for younger millennial parents, 59% of whom will be making a tech purchase this year. Tablets are the most coveted item, with 28% of parents indicating that they will purchase one, compared to the 18% who will be buying a videogame console. Combined, the number of parents planning to purchase a tablet or a smartphone was 36%." - KidscreenRead more: http://kidscreen.com/2013/12/04/tablets-top-parents-holiday-lists-says-pbs/?amp;utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tablets-top-parents-holiday-lists-says-pbs#ixzz2meOhhPqy
Studies show children are born equipped to be empathic, but these skills take time and practice to develop.
Empathic children are aware of their own feelings and individuality; are able to relate to common feelings while also distinguishing their own emotions from the feelings of others; can imagine how others might feel in a given situation and respond in a way they imagine might be comforting to that person....
An Empathy Timeline
Some studies suggest that the development of empathy has its roots in infancy, though it takes many years for this skill to mature. Babies as young as 6 months old begin using social referencing, looking to the reactions of a parent or caretaker to gauge the safety of a situation or new person. Research suggests that children as young as 14 months offer to help an adult who is struggling to reach something....
Strategies for Raising Empathic Children....
by David Sack, M.D.
Such a critical emotional skill in our complex global society, strangely absent from most educational settings.
"Dust or Magic is the brainchild of Warren Buckleitner, who is also the editor of Children’s Technology Review magazine, a blogger for The New York Times and an industry expert in the children’s digital world." - Scott Traylor, @360Kid
E-readers and tablets are becoming more popular as such technologies improve, but research suggests that reading on paper still boasts unique advantages
Interesting: "Compared with paper, screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder to remember what we read when we are done. A parallel line of research focuses on people's attitudes toward different kinds of media. Whether they realize it or not, many people approach computers and tablets with a state of mind less conducive to learning than the one they bring to paper.
"There is physicality in reading," says developmental psychologist and cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University, "maybe even more than we want to think about as we lurch into digital reading—as we move forward perhaps with too little reflection. I would like to preserve the absolute best of older forms, but know when to use the new."-Ferris jabr, Scientific American
Combining engaging media with interactive technology and teacher training improves learning
"With this study, we have a better understanding of the contribution transmedia resources can make to early learning settings," said EDC's Shelley Pasnik, vice president and director of the Center for Children and Technology. "Children living in traditionally under-resourced communities were able to build foundational math skills when given necessary supports—in this case engaging digital content, opportunities to practice both on and away from screens, and knowledgeable adults—leaving them better prepared for kindergarten."
Welcome to the Dust or Magic channel, a free, public forum where talks and demos are archived from Dust or Magic events. Video content is managed by Children...
A wealth of great information & inspiration from creators, educators & artists who presented at the DUST OR MAGIC APP CAMP 2013. I really enjoyed hearing Bjorn Jeffery from Toca Boca.
With thanks to Cynthia Jabar at Transmedia 4 Kids!
Serial games entrepreneur and sometimes angel investor Dylan Collins has a new project, which he no doubt describes as "awesome". Aiming to help solve the..
This is a really great idea for discovery. 'Fundamentally, we’re curating a collection of genuinely awesome products for our community so it’s a great way of mixing established and new”, adds Collins."-Steve O"Hear, techcrunch