Ben Schiller: '"Games allow you to create a system that when people participate, they generate a story," says Jeff Watson, a proponent of "civic games"--play that’s not just for fun, but has some underlying social purpose.'
I’ll go out on a limb here and say: I bet most of us like kids. Otherwise, why develop for them? I also predict that most of us have access to children, either as parents, teachers or caregivers.
And: I’ve got a strong hunch that most of us did at least some informal testing of our storybook app content with the kids in our lives. Did you assemble a group of children in a formal focus group/testing environment, or did you simply run through your creation with your own kid(s) in your lap at bedtime and gauge their response?
If you aren’t a writer, illustrator or developer, which currently-available apps or ebooks are favorites with your kids (either at home or in the classroom)? Let’s chat about our experiences in sharing our own development process with actual age-appropriate audiences during the next #storyappchat, this Sunday (August 26) at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific.
And just for fun: if it’s been a while since you got the original feedback from your kids, how about revisiting your app with them before the chat, and be prepared to share the new feedback with us. Just use the #storyappchat hashtag on Twitter to take part in the chat–see you then!
Children's health and privacy groups asked the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday to investigate what they called the "commercial exploitation" of youths through popular brand-name companies' online, and viral, advertising promotions.
We're witnessing another sea change in Web publishing. From Pinterest at the beginning of this year to the launch this week of a new product from two Twitter founders, Medium, 2012 has been a year where the norms of publishing are being challenged. It wasn't that long ago that Tumblr and Wordpress were the cutting edge of publishing. But there's a new edge and it's populated by the likes of Medium (a kind of categorized Tumblr), Branch (the sister site of Medium, for discussions), App.net (a microblogging platform) and Svbtle (an elite network of indie bloggers). In this post we identify five key drivers for this new wave of publishing services.
1. Publishing Is Getting More Casual
One thing that all of the four tools I mentioned above - Medium, Branch, App.net and Svbtle - have in common is that they make the publishing process less onerous. It's now less about composition (being a writer or blogger) and more about expressing your thoughts as simply as possible. Branch encourages you to "be casual" when adding your opinion to a discussion, while Medium wants to remove "the burden of becoming a blogger"....
Apple wins patent for head-mounted augmented reality system Apple has won a patent form the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the development of a head-mounted augmented reality system. Thus far, Google has been the biggest name in the ...
I have spent most of my professional life (over 20 years) working for, in support of and in collaboration with programs that functioned to support primary & secondary school-aged kids, parents & teachers. In this capacity, I have seen booms & busts in funding, priorities shifting from one collective program we thought would ‘save our kids’ or ‘leave no child behind’ for so long I find the whole discussion depressing most of the time. My mother and even grandmother worked in our California schools before I did … a family tradition I am proud to continue.
But people like me have been researching and suggesting for many years, long before the tablet revolution, that teachers need support, not materials … nothing matters more than preparing the people who spend all day long with our kids. In this excellent piece from a decade ago, by Sam Carlson, we find the situation has hardly improved (if not gotten worse for educators since 2002): The Missing Link in Educational Technology: Trained Teachers But what can we do about it? ...
Chaunton: "[...] the plot of H+ deals directly with the far more pervasive reality of persistent internet connectivity. We may not all walk around with a chip in our heads, but a great many of us spend 24 hours a day with internet access in our pockets."
Further tapping the needs of tech-savvy kids, Mattel has added new brands including Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope and Monster High to its Apptivity toy line that enables screen-safe toys to interact with apps for the iPad.
If you're a fan of The Hunger Games book, movie, or both, we have some very exciting news for you: The official social game based on the story is coming to the iPad very soon -- and it's really good!
The Hunger Games Adventures game has been a huge hit on Facebook since the movie hit theaters in March. The iPad version is built from that game, but adds greater depth to the story, better graphics, and more intuitive controls. And the fact that you can play it from your iPad anytime without having to be logged into Facebook is a pretty big advantage, too.
The game could have gone the obvious route of having you play Katniss or Peeta, but the designers wisely opted to go a different path: You play a character of your own, who starts out a Citizen of District 12 and works his/her way towards becoming the next hero of Panem. And all the familiar characters from the story are there: Katniss and Peeta, of course; but also the other Tributes; and Primrose, Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, and President Snow; and that’s not even everyone.
The game drops you in District 12 and gives you access to certain areas, most of which will seem very familiar to those who know the story. You’re also given a part of the forest that’s all your own, where you gradually set up more and more tools, decorations, places to rest, and such. It’s there that you get the most freedom — you can rearrange things as much as you want, and, while you’ll have to buy certain things to move the story along, you’ll unlock a lot of things you can pick and choose between as well....
The tantrums, the thrown food, the tears, and shouting . . . running an advertising creative department really is the ideal preparation for being a stay-at-home dad. Some time back, I swapped my job as a creative director to spend a couple of years looking after the kids. To my surprise, it actually boosted my career. By freelancing in the evenings and during my children’s afternoon naps, I actually won more creative awards than in any other two-year period of my life. Kids are a tough crowd; they raised my game. Here are some of the things that mine taught me about marketing.
1. EMOTIONAL BENEFITS SELL BETTER THAN RATIONAL ONES “I bought some ravioli for dinner tonight--you’ll all love it!” called my optimistic wife as she left for work. I opened the fridge and stared at the little plump parcels full of . . . spinach. There would be tears before bedtime. Possibly mine. “Eat spinach because it’s good for you” doesn’t cut it with small kids, or many consumers for that matter. This needed a higher order benefit: What’s the emotional buzz you get from ravioli?...
The Book of Spells is the first in the series of titles for Sony’s “Wonderbook” which claims to be the “reinvention of the storybook” It does look like a book but the similarity ends there. First of all, when you open it, instead of normal text, you’d find this (see above).
“The closest a Muggle can come to a real spell book”, JK Rowling
No, the images above are not magical Runes- the cryptic language of wizards, but very much the technology of “muggles” that brings magic close to reality. These are augmented reality codes overlaid on the book pages that are detected by the PlayStation eye (the webcam device for the PlayStation)which in turn displays the actual content of the page on your TV screen.Would you call holding the book in hand and staring into the TV as “reading”?...
There are two basic terms you need to know before I can answer this question:
• Web app – changing the layout of the information (still in HTML) in a way that is more suited for a mobile screen. The new layout can be attributed to a dedicated design template, or (if we didn’t throw around enough buzz-words so far) to a “responsive design” that takes into account the width of the screen on which it is presented and rearranges the elements in the layout to fit the screen.
To be fair, Steve Jobs said: “You don’t need apps, make Web apps.” After saying that, he realized that making apps is not where the tech world was going, and he created the App Store and billions of downloads have confirmed that this move was the right way to go.
• Native app – a dedicated app written in the original programming language of the mobile platform. This process creates the best results possible for an app.
There is a lively discussion on what is the best approach to adapt the Internet into the mobile world: Web app (because it is probably enough and it is after all the language of the Internet) or native apps (because of their strength and speed)....
Yesterday we outlined five reasons why Web publishing is undergoing a sea change, via new services like Medium, Branch, Svtle and App.net. In today's post, we turn our attention to the readers. We're all readers, in some capacity. So the changes we're witnessing in publishing affect us all. Here's what it will mean to you and how you can adapt.
The Rise of Gated Communities
One of the curious factors in the new wave of publishing services is that they are restrictive in nature. In all four of the services we mentioned - Medium, Branch, Svtle and App.net - you cannot write to them unless you have been given permission to do so. Essentially, they're read-only by default. In other words, this new crop of services is less democratic than what came before - Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogger and even Twitter.
The reason why they're restricting access is because of a drive for quality. Rightly or wrongly, these companies have decided to tackle the Quality problem by creating gated communities. Most of us can peek through the bars of the gate and read the posts. But unless you've been granted access to come inside, you're effectively discouraged from joining the conversation.
Over time Medium, Branch, App.net and others will open their gates to more people, but you have to wonder what advantages those with early access are gaining...
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