Category Archives: Early childhood

HOW TO CHOOSE APPS

Apps, and technology overall, are another tool for learning. Children get the most out of playing with apps if they are well chosen by you and if you play together.

All the apps in this guide have been checked using a quality framework, developed by the National Literacy Trust, together with our partners. We want you to be able to use this guidance to choose your own quality literacy apps. When looking at apps and thinking how they can support your child’s early literacy, we suggest that you think about the following questions:

Read more at: http://literacyapps.literacytrust.org.uk/how-to-choose-apps/

ICO publishes Code of Practice to protect children’s privacy online

“There are laws to protect children in the real world. We need our laws to protect children in the digital world too.” – UK Information Commissioner

Today the Information Commissioner’s Office has published its final Age Appropriate Design Code – a set of 15 standards that online services should meet to protect children’s privacy.

The code sets out the standards expected of those responsible for designing, developing or providing online services like apps, connected toys, social media platforms, online games, educational websites and streaming services. It covers services likely to be accessed by children and which process their data.

The code will require digital services to automatically provide children with a built-in baseline of data protection whenever they download a new app, game or visit a website.

Read more at: https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2020/01/ico-publishes-code-of-practice-to-protect-children-s-privacy-online/

Checklist & Concrete Criteria for Positive Content

The “Positive Content Criteria” are key aspects to consider when producing or providing online content and services for children: target group and age-appropriateness, attractiveness, usability, reliability, safety and privacy issues. There is also a checklist that provides a short overview of these aspects – please see below.

Read more at: http://www.positivecontent.eu/positive-content-criteria-checklist/

Apps As Learning Tools: A Systematic Review

Touchscreen mobile devices (eg, smartphones, tablets) have become ubiquitous for young children.1 Interactive applications or “apps” considered “educational” for young children have similarly gained in popularity2 and are increasingly being integrated into early childhood classrooms as learning tools because of perceived advantages for child engagement and active learning.3 The integration of interactive app technology into children’s lives at home and school has outpaced research needed to inform comprehensive recommendations for its use. Recommendations have thus far focused on preventing overuse of screens4 rather than opportunities for maximizing learning. Research on whether young children can learn from interactive apps; the academic, cognitive, or social-emotional skill domains that may be best supported by interactive apps; and the conditions under which this learning may be maximized; is still emerging.

Read more at: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/145/1/e20191579

Kids digital media report 2019

• We estimate that the global kids digital advertising market will continue to grow in excess of 20% p.a. (2018-21). We estimate the market will be worth c.$1.7bn by 2021

• As kids’ media and content is increasingly consumed via desktop, mobile and tablet devices, we expect brands to move more advertising spend onto these digital platforms, and shift spend away from traditional (non-digital) channels

• Additionally, increasing regulatory requirements and awareness of the benefits of compliance support a shift in spend towards dedicated ‘kidtech’ players

Read more at: https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/5009836/PwC%202019/Kids%20Digital%20Media%20Report%202019%20.pdf?

PwC Kids Digital Media Report 2019 estimates global kids digital advertising market will be worth $1.7bn by 2021

In 2017, PwC released the ground-breaking Kids Digital Media Report, which estimated that the value of the global kids digital advertising market would hit $1.2bn by 2021. They have just released their latest report with updated data and trends. It’s a compelling read.

A staggering 170,000 children go online for the first time every day, driving considerable disruption across the media landscape. As children become a larger percentage of the daily internet audience, laws to protect them are expected to be passed with greater urgency. These increasing regulatory requirements support a shift in spend towards dedicated kidtech players, who provide privacy-centric solutions to the industry.

Read more at: https://www.superawesome.com/2019/06/11/pwc-kids-digital-media-report-2019-estimates-global-kids-digital-advertising-market-will-be-worth-1-7bn-by-2021/

Children and Media Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics

he following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety in any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source. 
 
In a world where children are “growing up digital,” it’s important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills. Here are a few tips from the AAP to help families manage the ever-changing digital landscape.

  • Make your own family media use plan. Media should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. When used thoughtfully and appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities such as face-to-face interaction, family-time, outdoor-play, exercise, unplugged downtime and sleep. Make your plan at HealthyChildren.org/MediaUsePlan.

Read more at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Children-and-Media-Tips.aspx

Apps for preschoolers are flooded with manipulative ads, according to a new study

In the children’s gaming app Doctor Kids, a popular purchase in the Google and Amazon app stores, kids get to play doctor in a children’s hospital. They clean patients’ teeth as a dentist, straighten crooked bones inside an X-ray scan, and play optometrist by helping kids with blurry vision find the right prescription glasses, all against a backdrop of brightly colored characters and a twinkling soundtrack.

Until suddenly, the game is interrupted. A bubble pops up with a new mini game idea, and when a child clicks on the bubble, they are invited to purchase it for $1.99, or unlock all new games for $3.99. There’s a red X button to cancel the pop-up, but if the child clicks on it, the character on the screen shakes its head, looks sad, and even begins to cry.

Read more at: https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/10/30/18044678/kids-apps-gaming-manipulative-ads-ftc

Our children’s apps aren’t directed at children

In our study of kids’ Android apps, we observed that a majority of apps specifically targeted at kids may be violating U.S. privacy law: the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In response to this revelation, many companies that we named in our paper have responded by stating that they are not covered by the law because either their apps are not directed at children or they have no knowledge that any of their users are children. As a broader issue, we have also noticed that many companies appear to turn a blind eye to COPPA compliance by stating in their privacy policies that their obviously-child-directed apps are not directed at children.

As I’ll explain in this post, these excuses are disingenuous at best and outright lies at worst: for every app that we examined, the developer took proactive steps to market their apps to children under 13, and therefore appear to be subject to COPPA because their apps are “directed” at children.

Read more at: https://blog.appcensus.io/2018/05/08/our-childrens-apps-arent-directed-at-children/

The link to the relative paper: https://blues.cs.berkeley.edu/blog/2018/04/25/wont-somebody-think-of-the-children-examining-coppa-compliance-at-scale/