Categories: Thoughts on Education
Designing great apps for children is a challenging thing to do. Not only do you have to take a lot of effort on researching children's needs, but it also requires a strong app concept that ensures an educational and fun experience. However, it can be done. Generally, apps for children must be aesthetically pleasing and extraordinarily engaging to be successful. But, that’s not enough. In order for children to actually enjoy interacting with an app, it needs to offer children-friendly navigation and must be easy to use.
Google launches a curated portal for apps for children, Apple integrates a kids category into it’s App Store - obviously mobile learning is a hot topic, at least in the tech industry. Advocates have great expectations and are confident mobile learning will transform education, resulting in highly motivated students. What parents think of the value of portable devices for educational (and not so educational) purposes is a more down-to-earth and less homogenous story.
Parents are starting to embrace technology to facilitate their children’s learning. It is a fairly common sight nowadays for toddlers and young children fiddling with iPads and other tablet devices. And with a surge of apps targeted towards this market, parents need to be wary of what their kids are being exposed to every time they use mobile devices.
During our constant research for our learning apps for children we very often come across stunning statistics about how kids use mobile devices. The facts and numbers fascinate us and we love sharing them with you (if you follow our blog and facebook page, you might have noticed that :)). This time, we decided to do this in a more fun way and created our first infographic.
We know our children love tablets and apps. We watch them interact with iPads, learn and enjoy themselves. That makes us happy. Still we are concerned about how these new technologies influence our children and their development. The Michael Cohen Group (MCG) conducted a research project and found that tablet pcs and apps support young children’s learning. They help them develop skills they need in school and in “real life”. Here are the findings of their study, listed as 10 things you should know about young children, apps and the iPad.
Our children are born into a world of digital convenience. It is a world in which it is perfectly normal to communicate via social networks, regulate lights and temperature in a house via an iPad and charge mobiles by using solar power. It’s hardly surprising that smartphones and tablet pcs are so popular in the playground.
The interfaces of iPads, Android tablets and similar devices are naturally intuitive to kids. They intuitively grasp how to operate them. If you watch a small child “discover” a new object they usually start by touching it, pushing it, pulling it, banging it. It’s a physical exercise that is unencumbered by the rules and etiquette of the adult world. Adults observe and try to comprehend before they engage for fear of doing something wrong or breaking it.