~ Marketing ~

Read IBW-relevant news and information here!


10/15/2013
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube referrals up 52%+ in past year

Shareaholic’s Social Media Traffic Report tracked eight of the most popular social media platforms to see how they were driving traffic to their network of publishers from Sept 2012-Sept 2013. Among their findings:

  1. Pinterest Drives More Traffic to Publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit Combined
  2. Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are dominating.
  3. StumbleUpon and Reddit referrals are declining. 
  4. YouTube and LinkedIn are gaining share.
  5. Google+ isn’t yet competitive.
Read more: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube referrals up 52%+ in past year

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9/26/2013
Mobile Devices Give Parents Their Kids’ Latest Entertainment Tool

There is no question that marketers trying to reach parents—or even children—are highly likely to find them on mobile. Nearly two-thirds of adults in the US have distracted or entertained a child 5 years old or younger with a mobile device, according to an August 2013 survey from Harris Interactive. A survey from the NPD Group confirmed that mobile devices are seeing heavy uptake among US parents and children. In 2012, 63% of parents with children between 2 and 14 years old said either they or one of their children owned a mobile phone, smartphone or tablet. This year, that figure rose to 79%.
Read more: Mobile Devices Give Parents Their Kids’ Latest Entertainment Tool

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9/24/2013
Tweet This: Survey Finds Advertisers Most Bullish on Social Media


More than half of marketer and agency professionals surveyed by Advertiser Perceptions predicted they would increase ad spending in digital media during the next 12 months, far more than the share predicting the same for traditional channels such as cable TV (31%), broadcast TV (20%), magazines (14%) and national newspapers (11%).


Read more: Tweet This: Survey Finds Advertisers Most Bullish on Social Media

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9/18/2013
No Bedtime Stories Affect Children’s Literacy

According to a recent Oxford University Press study, parents who stop reading bed-time stories to children early, around seven years of age, may affect their literacy.

Read more: No Bedtime Stories Affect Children’s Literacy

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9/16/2013
Parents Who Encourage Reading for Pleasure See Education Rewards

A recently published study by the Institute of Education concludes that youngsters who enjoy books have better language and spelling skills and, in a more surprising development, also perform better in mathematics.

Read more: Parents Who Encourage Reading for Pleasure See Education Rewards

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9/16/2013
Kids Using Tablets, Apps More

Tablets continue to be the hot device for everyone, but no one is finding more appeal than kids (and their parents). According to research from The NPD Group, nearly 80% of parents who have children between the ages of 2 and 14 have some type of mobile device (such as a cell phone, smartphone or tablet) -- a jump of 16% over the previous year. 

About a third of parents are spending more on apps for their children than they did last year. And they’re willing to pay more. When looking across all app types (which include movie apps, educational games apps and books and reading apps), parents are willing to pay an average of $5.90 per app, according to NPD.

“The opportunities to upsell to these consumers are significant,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysts at The NPD Group. 

Read more: Kids Using Tablets, Apps More

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9/12/2013
Mobile gaming’s up, but it’s not costing consoles


According to Kids and Gaming 2013, the way kids ages two to 17 are gaming has significantly shifted since 2011, with many of these changes directly attributable to mobile devices. More than half (53%) of mobile device users are spending more time playing on these devices compared to last year. The proliferation of less expensive tablets and an increase of hand-me-down phones are helping kids gain access to these platforms more frequently. And kids are starting to game on mobile devices at a younger age. In 2011, the average beginner was nine years old; in 2013 that age dropped to eight, and the NPD Group expects that starting age to continue its trend downward.

Read more: Mobile gaming’s up, but it’s not costing consoles

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9/11/2013
The other side of COPPA

As of July 1, 2013, the US Federal Trade Commission amended Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules to include online services such as social networks, social-sharing plug-ins, mobile apps, online games and advertising networks. It also expanded its definition of personal information to include photos, video and audio containing a child’s image or voice, screen names, geo-location information, third-party plug-ins and persistent identifiers like cookies, IP addresses and mobile device IDs that can recognize users over time and across websites and online services. This raises issues around data collection and the need for transparency and ethical boundaries when developing kids apps.

Read more: The other side of COPPA

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9/4/2013
Global Demand for Game-Based Learning, Simulations on the Rise

The global market for game-based learning and simulation-focused learning is growing and likely to continue to expand over the next few years, driven in large part by the booming use of mobile technologies, according to market research company Ambient Insight.

Revenues for game-based learning in 2012 were $1.5 billion, in U.S. dollars, predicated to grow to $2.3 billion by 2017. The market for simulation-focused learning, meanwhile, is even bigger—nearly $2.4 billion last year. And it is projected to grow by 23 percent, to $6.6 billion in 2017.

Ambient describes game-based learning as the transfer of knowledge through “gameplay,” meaning some type of competition in which users attempt to outperform others or challenge themselves. Simulation-based learning allows users to simulate various physical and environmental conditions, processes, and situations, through technology and other means, with the goal of teaching them to accomplish a task.

Read more: Global Demand for Game-Based Learning, Simulations on the Rise

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8/27/2013
A Computer in Every Classroom and a Tablet in Every Backpack?

Nielsen’s quarterly Connected Devices Report found that during Q1 2013 more than three-quarters of tablet-owning parents (78%) let their kids under age 11 play with tablets in their homes. The majority of these parents (54%) said their children use tablets for educational purposes. What’s more, among those who don’t let their kids play with tablets, 20 percent said they would if there was more educational content on them.

Read more: A Computer in Every Classroom and a Tablet in Every Backpack?

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8/21/2013

Zuckerberg, Other Tech Leaders, Launch Initiative to Increase Global Internet Access 

 

Facebook has joined forces with industry giants Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung, and others. The goal? While 1.15 billion people are currently connected to the Internet, they want to connect the other two-thirds of the world – 5 billion people – in the next five years.

 

Read more: Zuckerberg, Other Tech Leaders, Launch Initiative to Increase Global Internet Access 

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8/20/2013
iOS7 to Introduces Special Category for Kids

Apple is creating a separate kids category in the App Store. Kids Category apps must be made specifically for kids in three age ranges: 5 and under, 6-8 yrs, or 9-11 yrs. New developer guidelines for apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 include:

  • must include a privacy policy

  • may not include behavioral advertising (e.g. the advertiser may not serve ads based on the user’s activity within the App), and any contextual ads presented in the App
  • must be appropriate for kids

    must get parental permission or use a parental gate before allowing the user to link out of the app or engage in commerce
Read more: iOS7 to Introduces Special Category for Kids

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8/15/2013

Mobile User Bases at Facebook and Twitter Keep Growing

The percentage of Facebook users who access on mobile will eventually rival Twitter. In the US, 28 million people will use Twitter on their mobile phones at least monthly this year, eMarketer estimates. That’s up 22% over 2012 figures but still a far cry from earlier growth levels. Twitter mobile users will account for just 11.4% of mobile phone users and 8.8% of the overall population.

 

Read more: Mobile User Bases at Facebook and Twitter Keep Growing

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8/14/13

Key Audience Targets and Concepts for Next-Generation Content Experiences

 

Research consultancy Latitude's new study The Future of Storytelling shows digital TV will be an integral part of how stories are told in the years to come. According to the study, "audiences are more ready than ever to embrace new tech-driven possibilities for stories to [affect] us more deeply." The report identifies four different audience archetypes: Seekers, Relaters, Realists, and Players. Among findings:

  • 78% want to "friend" a character digitally on Facebook or via text messages and have the ability to help sway the character's decisions.
  • 87% want to see events through the eyes of a particular character or to switch between different characters' points-of-view.
  • 41% use a second screen at least daily while watching TV.
  • The most popular second screen interactions for TV shows tend to be goal-oriented, such as earning rewards (80% interested), voting to decide a show's outcome (79%), or making a purchase (76%).
  • 92% agree there's a real opportunity for brands to make ads feel more like a story or a game that they'd naturally choose to engage with.

Read more: Key Audience Targets and Concepts for Next-Generation Content Experiences

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7/25/2013

Evolution of Play 

 

The NPD Group’s recent Evolution of Play report highlights the role that educational toys – whether traditional or electronic – can sway parents who are otherwise reluctant to make purchases. 

 

Read more: Parents Still Buying Traditional Toys

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7/25/2013

Teachers and Administrators Want More Classroom Technology

 

According to a Harris Interactive survey, an “overwhelming majority” of teachers (86 percent) and administrators (93 percent) think it’s “important” or “absolutely essential” to use products (such as apps, computer games, websites, digital planning tools, or digitally delivered curricula) designed to help students or teachers. Almost all teachers (between 87 percent and 96 percent) agree the use of educational technologies increases student engagement in learning, enables personalized learning, improves student outcomes, and helps students collaborate.

 

Read more: Teachers and Administrators Want More Classroom Technology

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7/21/2013 

Kids Have No More Patience for Jail Time, Monopoly Discovers

 

From dance lessons to soccer games, today’s kids lead much busier lives than previous generations. Even their playtime is more limited. Hasbro has responded to this trend by restructuring the game Monopoly. Traditionally taking hours, the new version takes 30 minutes or less to complete.

 

Read more: Kids Have No More Patience for Jail Time, Monopoly Discovers

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7/17/13

Research Says Screen Time Can Be Good for Your Kids


Screen time is not all bad for your kids. A recent SRI study shows that game based learning can boost cognitive learning for students sitting on the median by 12%. But interactive learning games still work best when parents and children play together.  When parents and children are watching or playing together, kids are internalizing important social skills. Being intentional about the messages you send to your kids about media is a missing link in most parenting strategies.


Read more: Research Says Screen Time Can Be Good for Your Kids

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7/3/2013

Embrace your inner child

 

Itís officially summer and I’ve always believed that sunshine brings out our inner child. So instead of lamenting that kids are falling into the dreaded “summer slide” of education, we adults should follow suit and slip into our own rhythm of easy liviní.

 

Read more: Embrace your inner child

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7/3/2013

Eight ways kindergarten holds the key to 21st-century instruction

 

Several of the “revolutionary” changes weíve been calling for in our schools have actually been around for quite a while—just talk a stroll down to any kindergarten class.

 

Read more: Eight ways kindergarten holds the key to 21st-century instruction

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6/28/2013

Tweens Have a Big Say in Household Spending

 

Letís face it, tweens are taking over the world... or at least the modern household.

 

Read more: Tweens Have a Big Say in Household Spending

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6/16/2013

Kids and the Fight for Time


More and more, playtime for today’s overscheduled kids is in the backseat of a car going from place to place. Since play-on-the-go lends itself to tablets and cell phones, it’s more important than ever to build portability and simplicity into toys and games.


Read more: Kids and the Fight for Time

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4/10/2013
2013 ON for Learning Award Winners

 

This year, Common Sense Media has recognized 51 children’s apps, games, and websites with its highest (five-star) rating for learning potential. These digital resources are “really engaging” and take an “excellent approach” to learning, according to the ratings system. Browse the winning resources alphabetically or by age group (preschoolers ages 2-4, young kids ages 5-6, kids ages 7-8, preteens ages 9-11, and teens ages 12-14). The winning resources include websites such as Dreambox Learning Math, iCivics, and Khan Academy; apps such as Britannica Kids: Solar System; and games such as Body and Brain Connection.

Read more: 2013 ON for Learning Award Winners

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4/9/2013

Tablets Overtake Dedicated E-readers as Most Popular Devices

 

The latest edition of BISG’s Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey shows that for the first time multi-function tablets have surpassed dedicated e-readers as the device of choice among consumers who read e-books.

 

Read more: Tablets Overtake Dedicated E-readers

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3/22/2013
How Do Children Learn to Share?

New research is beginning to untangle the disconnect between knowledge and behavior, with a surprising finding: Young children asked to predict how they will divvy up stickers already anticipate they will tip the scale in their favor. When it comes to sharing, the three- to six-year-old set is — scientifically speaking — a bunch of self-aware hypocrites.

Read more: How Do Children Learn to Share?

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3/21/2013

Kids Prefer Tech Gadgets to Toys

 

More kids, between the ages of 7 and 13, prefer a tech gadget over a traditional toy giving them a clear grasp on consumer products, according to a recent study by The Intelligence Group.

 

For play time, two-thirds of children between 7 and 13 years old, prefer a tech gadget to toys, according to the report. Nearly 60 percent of the group, dubbed "Generation Z," access the internet from a mobile phone at least once a week, and more than half of the group conducts online product research before purchasing.

The report also found that one-quarter of children want a say in product development, while 30 percent prefer customizing their products, and 60 percent prefer customized products whether or not they did the actual customizing.

 

Read More: Kids Prefer Tech Gadgets to Toys

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3/21/2013

Moms more likely to be on Facebook

eMarketer estimates that mothers are significantly more likely to be internet users than the average American, at 94.5% vs. 75.7% of the overall population at the end of 2012. That’s nearly 34 million moms using the web on at least a monthly basis, a number that will inch up in coming years.  More than eight in 10 of these women use social networking sites at least once per month, with three-quarters using Facebook specifically.

 

Read more: Moms more likely to be on Facebook, Twitter than Gen X

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3/11/2013
BE AWARE!
Yes, you need to be aware of this ongoing situation ~ and simply use discernment in deciding who to approach with IBW opportunities.

Read more: Public Enemy No. 1

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3/11/2013
Demographics Vary Across Social Networks

eMarketer estimates that by the end of 2013 there will be 163.5 million social network users in the US, and unsurprisingly they are a diverse group. Recent study breaks it down by demographics.

Read more: Demographics Vary Across Social Networks

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3/1/2013
Brands Flex Their Filters on Instagram

Although brand presence on Facebook-owned Instagram is light compared to their activity on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and even Google+, it is growing. According to findings from social media measurement and analytics company Simply Measured, adoption by the Top 100 brands (based on Interbrand’s rankings) rose five percentage points (54% to 59%) from November 2012 to February 2013.

Read more: Brands Flex Their Filters on Instagram

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2/23/2013 Don’t Call Him Mom, or an Imbecile
The stock marketing character of a hapless, bumbling dad-mom is so last century! Time for giving respect where respect is due! Many fathers who attended the Dad 2.0 Summit a meeting of so-called daddy bloggers and the marketers who want to reach them – are proud to be involved in domestic life and do not want to serve as the comic foil to the supercompetent mother.

Read more: Don’t Call Him Mom, or an Imbecile

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1/18/2013

Mobile Ad Revenues

A new report predicts that, in 2013, mobile ads will collectively rise in $11.4 billion in revenues, a rise of 18.75% on 2012's $9.6 billion.

 

Read More: Mobile Ad Revenues

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1/17/2013

Digital Households Keep Kids Connected

 

Mobile is a relatively new device in the digital lives of kids, just as for adults. The NPD Group (as reported in September 2012 by The Wall Street Journal) found that among kids as young as 4 and 5, nearly four in 10 had access to a smartphone, iPod Touch or tablet.

 

For kids, mobile usage is often synonymous with gaming. In Ipsos MediaCT’s polling of 6- to 12-year-olds, 54% of those with access to an internet-enabled phone (and 34% of those accessing any sort of mobile phone) said they used it to play games.

 

Read more: Digital Households Keep Kids Connected

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1/16/2013

More Than Half U.S. Kids Reading Ebooks, New Report Shows

More than half of U.S. children are reading ebooks, more than double the proportion of adults, according to a new report from Digital Book World and PlayScience, a New York-based children’s digital research firm. About a third of kids who e-read do so more than once a day. And 85% read an ebook at least once a week.

Some 54% of U.S. children aged two-to-thirteen are reading ebooks, according to the report, The ABCs of Kids & Ebooks: Understanding the E-Reading Habits of Children Aged 2-13. This is more than double the 23% of U.S. adults who are e-reading, according to the latest numbers from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Read more: More Than Half U.S. Kids Reading Ebooks, New Report Shows

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1/15/2013

Report Finds More E-book Reading Among Children

 

The fourth edition of Scholastic’s “Kids & Family Reading Report” put the emphasis on what the growth in e-books and digital reading devices has had on the reading habits of children aged 6-17 as well as their parents.

 

Read more: Report Finds More E-book Reading Among Children

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1/10/2013

Top Five Social Media Predictions for 2013

 

In 2013, expect visuals to play a bigger role while social media advertising will continue to grow. Harvard Business Review also says that empowering community influencers in your respective social channels can benefit your online marketing. Influencers will revel in the attention of a major brand, while you reap the benefits of enhanced visibility and broader reach of content.

 

Read more: Top Five Social Media Predictions for 2013

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1/9/2013

Nets No Longer Kid Around

TV becomes ever-increasingly unwelcoming for advertisers seeking to market to kids and their families…

 

(EPILOGUE: NOW becomes prime-time for offering THE New Alternative: IBW).

 

Read more: Nets No Longer Kid Around

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8/9/2012

How Google's 'Penguin' Update Will Change Publishing, for the Better

 

New SEO approaches will need to focus more on Facebook than on Google to improve search rankings. The same goes for brands that are investing in content creation and content marketing. To be successful, everyone needs to play by the New SEO rules.

 

Read more: How Google's 'Penguin' Update Will Change Publishing, for the Better

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1/2/2013

Holiday Week 2012 Sees New iOS And Android Device Activations Rise To 50M Total, A 150% Increase

 

Over 50 million iOS and Android devices were activated during the period between December 25 to December 31, versus just over 20 million devices last year. Users of those and existing devices downloaded 1.76 million apps, a 47 percent increase over the 1.2 billion app downloads during the 2011 holiday week.

 

Read more: Holiday Week 2012 Sees New iOS And Android Device Activations Rise To 50M Total, A 150% Increase

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12/19/12

How the Publishing World Acclimated to the Digital Revolution

 

Among Americans who read e-books, those under age 30 are more likely to read their e-books on a cell phone (41 percent) or computer (55 percent) than on an e-book reader such as a Kindle (23 percent) or tablet (16 percent).

 

Overall, 47 percent of younger Americans read long-form e-content such as books, magazines or newspapers. E-content readers under age 30 are more likely than older e-content readers to say that they are reading more these days due to the availability of e-content (40 percent vs. 28 percent).

 

Read more: How the Publishing World Acclimated to the Digital Revolution

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12/19/2012

New Federal Rules on Children's Privacy Set for Digital Devices

 

The Federal Trade Commission has approved revised rules that spell out the types of information that cannot be collected from children without their parents' permission, an action meant to address privacy concerns in the constantly evolving era of smartphones, tablets, social media, and apps.

 

The new policies seek to close loopholes that the agency says too often allow websites and online services to gather information improperly from students and turn it over to third parties for advertising purposes.

 

Read more: New Federal Rules on Children's Privacy Set for Digital Devices

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12/19/2012

Changes in law aim to protect kids’ internet privacy

 

The Obama administration has largely refrained from issuing regulations that might stifle growth in the technology industry, one of the U.S. economy’s brightest spots. Yet the Federal Trade Commission pressed ahead with the new kids’ internet privacy guidelines, despite loud complaints—particularly from small businesses and developers of educational apps—that the revisions would be too costly to comply with and would cause responsible companies to abandon the children’s app marketplace.

 

Under the changes to the law, known as COPPA, information about children that cannot be collected unless a parent first gives permission now includes the location data that a cell phone generates, as well as photos, videos, and audio files containing a human image or voice.

 

Read more: Changes in law aim to protect kids’ internet privacy

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12/19/2012

How to promote literacy skills in the digital age

 

Digital apps that claim to teach children important reading and literacy skills do not always impart higher-level abilities that children need to develop strong reading skills, according to a report from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. In a recent examination of Apple’s App Store, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center found that 72 percent of the top-selling apps in the Education category target preschool-age children.

 

Most of the skills these apps target are very basic, and parents and educators often do not have in-depth—or any—knowledge of how the apps work or if they work at all, claims the report, “Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West.”

 

Read more: How to promote literacy skills in the digital age

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12/18/2012

Developers worried about new rules for phone apps

 

The software industry is bracing for new regulations that it says will stifle creativity and saddle small businesses with legal and technical costs to ensure their cellphone apps don’t run afoul of the rules. The changes, which the FTC is expected to approve this week, would update a 14-year-old law prohibiting the collection of personal information from preteens.


Businesses said they fear that under the trade commission’s proposal, routine transfers of data that pose no threat to a child’s safety will be treated the same as the improper gathering of information that can be used to create detailed user profiles that are highly valued by advertisers.

 

Read more: Developers worried about new rules for phone apps

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12/18/2012

SpongeBob disappears from app store after privacy criticism

 

Nickelodeon has removed its SpongeBob app from the store after an advocacy group filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging the game violated children's online privacy rights by collecting their e-mail addresses without parents' permission.


According to the Center for Digital Democracy, which filed the complaint earlier today, cable network Nickelodeon and mobile game-maker PlayFirst are misleadingly marketing the game and are violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

 

Read more: SpongeBob disappears from app store after privacy criticism

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12/18/2012
Day Care May Increase Obesity in Children, Study Says

 

According to a study published November, 2012 in Journal of Pediatrics, children ages 18 months to 4 years old who attend day care on a regular basis or were cared for by an extended family member were 50 percent more likely to be overweight between the ages of 4 to 10 compared to those who stayed at home with their parents.

 

Read more: Day Care May Increase Obesity in Children, Study Says

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12/13/2012

The future of publishing is now, and it’s being shaped by mobile and social

 

According to Publishing Technology COO Randy Petway, the future of publishing is already happening because of the way consumers now discover and purchase content. Consider…

 

Mobile changes the way content is consumed. Of the world population:

  • Internet penetrates 35% (growing 17% each year)
  • Cell phones penetrate 80%

Social media influences behavior – especially buying behavior. Of people polled:

  • 75% said they’re more likely to buy something based on friend’s recommendation
  • 20% said they’d purchase something directly from a social media site

Read more: The future of publishing is now, and it’s being shaped by mobile and social

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12/12/12

Digital trends you should know about

 

Mary Meeker, from Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, recently delivered this report to Stanford students, and it’s an update to her May 2012 report Available on Slideshare, it is a look at current digital trends that may affect an IP’s future.

 

Read more: Digital trends you should know about

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12/11/2012

New Concerns Over Apps for Children

 

Children’s apps coming under scrutiny due to complaints to Federal Trade Commission regarding data collection practices which violate the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. That law requires an operator of a Web site or online service directed at children under 13 to provide notice of its information collection practices. The operator must also obtain verifiable permission from a parent before collecting or sharing personal information like a child’s name, e-mail address or physical address. The Federal Trade Commission has also released a study on children’s apps in which regulators reported that hundreds of popular apps failed to provide parents with basic information about their data collection practices.

 

Read more: New Concerns Over Apps for Children

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12/10/2012

The FTC Is Taking a Hard Look at Developers Making Apps for Children

 

The Federal Trade Commission revealed that only 20% of 400 mobile apps aimed at children included any privacy disclosures before or after downloads. The agency said it is investigating whether certain companies have violated laws protecting children online by failing to disclose the types of data gathered through apps and how those data are used.

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Regulators and lawmakers seem increasingly motivated to impose some clarity on the murky world of mobile apps. The FTC is expected to unveil an update to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act to require more transparency on data collection by mobile-industry players.

 

Making Apps for Kids? Watch This Video: How to Create a Mobile App That Respects The LAW

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12/7/2012

Social networking on the rise for educators

 

Eighty-two percent of all educators belong to at least one social networking site. Facebook still is the most popular social network that educators join, but membership in LinkedIn, edWeb.net, and Classroom 2.0 is increasing. Educator membership also is high on Twitter, Google+, and Edmodo.

 

Read more: Social networking on the rise for educators

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12/3/2012
Social Media Report 2012: Social Media Comes of Age

 

According to Nielsen and NM Incite’s latest Social Media Report, consumers continue to spend more time on social networks than on any other category of sites (20% total time online via computer; 30 percent via mobile).

 

Facebook is still the most-visited social network in the U.S. via PC (152.2 million visitors), mobile apps (78.4 million users) and mobile web (74.3 million visitors).

 

While Facebook and Twitter continued to be among the most popular social networks, in 2012 Pinterest had the largest increase in both unique audience and time spent of any social network across PC, mobile web and apps.

 

Read more: Social Media Report 2012: Social Media Comes of Age

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11/28/2012

Africa’s Mobile Market To Pass 80% Subscriber Penetration In Q1 Next Year; 13.9% Of Global Cellular Market By 2017

 

Think outside the 4G smartphone box…

 

ABI Research says GSM (2G) mobile subscriptions account for 62.7 percent of mobile subscriptions in Africa, while 3G, represents only 11 percent of the overall market. While there’s little overall grown in Western Europe, sub-Saharan Africa has been cited by a Deloitte report as the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, with average annual growth rate of 44 percent since the year 2000.

 

Read more: Africa’s Mobile Market To Pass 80% Subscriber Penetration In Q1 Next Year; 13.9% Of Global Cellular Market By 2017

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11/28/2012

Amazon’s Appstore Opens In Japan

 

Amazon’s Appstore is now open in Japan, offering typical Amazon features such as Customer Reviews and personalized recommendations. Not only is Amazon expanding in Asia, but it in June 2012 it opened its Appstore to international applications with support for the U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

 

Read more: Ahead Of Kindle Fire And Fire HD Shipments, Amazon’s Appstore Opens In Japan

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11/24/2012

As children pine for electronics, traditional toy makers face a growing tech challenge

 

At a younger age than ever, apps are capturing kids’ attention, replacing their interest in traditional toys such as plushies and puzzles. This is causing toy producers to look for new properties or licenses with a tech twist in order to widen their base.

 

Read more: As children pine for electronics, traditional toy makers face a growing tech challenge

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11/21/2012

More American Kids Than Ever Clamor For iPhones And iPads This Holiday Season

 

Nielsen survey tracking consumer buying intent in the next six months found American kids aged 6 to12 want:

  • iPad (48%)
  • Nintendo Wii U (39%)
  • iPod Touch (36%)
  • iPad Mini (36%)
  • iPhone (33%)

Requests for tablets other than iPad were 29% or less.

 

Read more: More American Kids Than Ever Clamor For iPhones And iPads This Holiday Season

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11/21/2012

A Peek at TV’s Future, Via Google Fiber

 

Recently launched Google Fiber provides a way to turn on your TV and watch whatever you want, no matter who is sending out the signal: Broadcast TV, cable TV, Netflix, etc.

 

Read more and view a short video on features: A Peek at TV’s Future, Via Google Fiber

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11/20/2012
Parents Worried About Web Firms Tracking Their Kids

 

Survey from the Pew Research Center indicates 81% of parents were most concerned about how much information advertisers were learning about their kids’ online behavior.

 

What are parents doing about it?

  • 50% of those with teens using the Web set parental controls to block, filter or monitor online activities
  • 42% search their child’s name online to find out what results show up
  • Many connect with kids on social media sites to passively monitor their kids

Read more: Parents Worried About Web Firms Tracking Their Kids

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10/26/2012

New survey reveals how moms' purchases are influenced by social media

A new survey by mom-targeting agency Child's Play Communications has found that toys and apparel are the top purchases made by moms as a result of a social media recommendation.

 

Read more: New survey reveals how moms' purchases are influenced by social media

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10/15/2012

Books as Brands

 

A driver of the increased focus on licensing over the past several years is that manufacturers, retailers, and licensing agents have become increasingly convinced of the commercial appeal of book properties. The integrity of the underlying book is always of paramount concern.

 

Read more: Books as Brands

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10/11/2012

Visual Leads The Way

 

With over 100 million users in just under two years, it’s clear that Instagram is a driving force in the current social media scene, and a large part of this success comes from the app’s immense popularity amongst teen users. Much like a number of other sites in the past, teens have helped pave the way for Instagram to become one of the most downloaded apps on both iOS and Android.

 

A recent ROI Research study determined that not only do social media users enjoy their friend’s photo posts the most, but 44% of respondents were more likely to engage with brands if they posted pictures rather than regular status updates, links, or other types of text.

 

As visual sites Instagram and Pinterest reach the pinnacle of social media popularity, the question is now where this new image-centric trend will take us next.

 

Read more: Visual Leads The Way

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9/18/2012

Sales Of E-Books For Kids Have Exploded This Year

 

Parents are buying e-books for their children in growing numbers as experts say a new generation may become more used to reading from an iPad or Kindle screen than from a traditional book. Sales of children’s e-books nearly tripled over the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2011(figures from the Publishers Association)

 

Read more: Sales Of E-Books For Kids Have Exploded This Year

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9/17/2012

Child's Play: Food Makers Hook Kids on Mobile Games

 

U.S. food companies are reaching children by embedding their products in simple and enticing games for touch-screen phones and tablets. The new medium is far cheaper than Saturday morning TV commercials and could prove as effective. The mobile games demonstrate how new technology is changing U.S. commerce, drawing tighter bonds between marketers and young consumers.

 

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Read more: Child's Play: Food Makers Hook Kids on Mobile Games

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8/31/12

Mobile Entertainment Content Access Soars as Smartphones, Downloads Boom

 

A study by Millennial Media and comScore reveals that mobile users' entertainment consumption increased 82 percent from 2010 to 2011, outpacing a 55 percent increase in smartphones. Good news for studios, marketers and advertisers alike.

 

The growth of tablets is one of the most exciting trends in mobile today, and tablets present a tremendous opportunity for advertisers. Consumers have different content-consumption habits with tablets, and advertisers have a much larger canvas to engage users.

 

Read more: Mobile Entertainment Content Access Soars as Smartphones, Downloads Boom

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8/30/2012

Entertainment Marketers Push M-Commerce

 

A new report by Millennial Media focused on entertainment-related mobile advertising underscores the prominent role of m-commerce in the category.

 

Read more: Entertainment Marketers Push M-Commerce

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8/29/2012

Drop Everything And Read

 

“In the 2010 Kids and Family Reading Report, Scholastic interviewed 1,045 children aged 6 to 17 and their parents. The report found that of the kids who read for fun less than once a week, one third said they would read more if they had eBooks… Books stimulate imaginations and open up new worlds unlike any other medium. In our business, we all know that content is king. A good story can be pixel-ated, merchandised, licensed, and branded. But don’t lose sight of the fact that a good story can also change your life. Especially when it’s read.”

 

Read more: Drop Everything And Read

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8/24/2012

For Brand Engagement, Visuals Rule

 

Companies are quickly learning that visual media is one of the most effective ways to share their stories. In a study of the top 10 brands on Facebook, users liked photos twice as often as text updates. And they shared videos 12 times more than photo and text posts combined. The world’s biggest social media properties have quickly made visual content a huge priority, often designing or re-designing their entire platforms to nurture such media.

 

Read more: For Brand Engagement, Visuals Rule

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8/17/2012

Licensing: Back to School

Scooby-Doo, where are you? In the classroom, along with many other licensed properties

 

Over the past five years, licensed books and supplemental educational materials have increasingly made their way into school libraries and classrooms. Educators have come to accept that licensed titles are a way to bring in reluctant readers and sustain interest in subjects like math and science. Meanwhile, licensors value the exposure their properties can generate in schools, something that can be difficult to replicate through traditional entertainment or retail channels these days.

 

Read more: Licensing: Back to School

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8/16/2012

Study: More Users Clicking Ads, Rise In M-Commerce Comfort

 

A survey conducted by Keynote Services shows that, when it comes to accessing mobile content, people are most frustrated by the connection speed of their devices and ability to find what they are looking for, according to Adobe's 2012 mobile consumer survey.

 

The wide-ranging study also found that about 40% of mobile users have clicked on ads, and Android phones are the most popular across age groups, among other findings.

 

Read more: Study: More Users Clicking Ads, Rise In M-Commerce Comfort

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8/16/2012

Parents With Kids Most Likely To M-Shop

 

According to new Harris Interactive research commissioned by Placecast, adults with kids under the age of 18 in the house are the most likely to engage in all kinds of digital commerce, but m-shopping especially. In fact, parents are leading the way when it comes to m-commerce, with 27% of the 2,262 surveyed saying they have made a purchase on their smartphone in the last year, compared to only 17% of non-parents.

 

Parents with younger children (under 6) are even more active on smartphones. For instance, 50% of these parents with younger kids said they would be receptive to mobile alerts from coffee and beverage outlets, compared to only 34% of those with kids over 6. The patterns are similar for almost every product category.

 

Read more: Parents With Kids Most Likely To M-Shop

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8/14/2012

New US study finds kids’ tablet use jumps 13%

 

In terms of *purchasing habits,* according to Kids and Consumer Electronics: 2012 Edition by market research company The NPD Group

 

PARENTS are most influenced by:

  • brand reputation
  • price
  • educational value

KIDS are most influence by:

  • aesthetics
  • popularity
  • entertainment value

Read more: New US study finds kids’ tablet use jumps 13%

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8/2/2012

Android and iOS Seeing Greater Revenue from Ads

 

Is the app Gold Rush nearing an end? In 2012, the Top 25 will drop to commanding about half of total revenue. The rest of the Top 100 apps will drop from earning 27 percent of revenue in 2010 to 17 percent of revenue in 2012. As consumers develop their preferences (read: branded IPs) the Lone Wolf will find revenues more and more a challenge. Solution? App developers need to partner with IP owners, such as book publishers.

 

Read more: Android and iOS Seeing Greater Revenue from Ads

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7/25/2012

Teens Viewpoint on Digital Lives

 

The article is long, with several charts and graphs. Here is a brief overview; however, you are encouraged to read the article in its entirety. “Knowledge is power.”

 

For the vast majority of teens, social and other digital com­munications media are a daily part of life. 68% of teens text every day, 51% visit social networking sites daily, and 11% send or receive tweets at least once every day. In fact, 34% of teens visit their main social networking site several times a day.

 

More than one in four teens say that using their social networking site makes them feel less shy and more outgoing; one in five says it makes them feel more confident, more popular, and more sympathetic to others; and 15% say it makes them feel better about themselves

 

Among all who used social and digital communications:

90% Used any social media

87% Texted

83% Visited a social networking site

63% IM’d

59% Used a video chat

45% Text chatted in an online game

 

Read more: Teens Viewpoint on Digital Lives

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7/18/2012
Why is *visual* the future of education? Because Bill Gates (& his foundation’s dollars) say so.

Read more: Bill Gates: Why ‘game-based learning’ is the future of education and Bill Gates: The keys to effective teacher evaluation

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7/17/2012

Half of Bedtime Stories Now Read on E-Books

 

According to a survey carried out by Ipsos Mori market research and The Reading Agency, a U.K.-based literacy charity, nearly 50% of U.K. parents say they now read books to their kids on e-readers or tablets or allow them to read on them.

 

Also from recent surveys:

Publishing revenue in the juvenile e-book category, which tracks books for children up to 18 years of age, jumped 233% to $64 million in the first quarter of 2012.

 

Read more: Half of Bedtime Stories Now Read on E-Books

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6/26/2012

Imaginations More Active Despite Less Play Time, Study Shows

 

Case Western University study found elementary school children (ages 6 to 10) in 2008 were significantly more imaginative and took greater comfort in playing make-believe than their counterparts in 1985 despite having less time either during or after school for free play:

  • Play, for the researchers’ purposes, included play indoors or outside with toys, but does not include video game play or sports or other structured activities. Researchers scored a child’s imagination, emotional expression, actions, and storytelling.
  • Researchers knew from talking to children that they didn’t play with toys as much as they used to.
  • Children who rate highly in imaginative and emotional play are not necessarily more intelligent than other children, but they do show better coping skills, creativity, and problem solving than students who rate low on the play scale.
  • Research shows cognitive and social benefits of children’s make-believe.

 

Read more: Imaginations More Active Despite Less Play Time, Study Shows

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6/16/2012

TV networks try to connect with young, tech-savvy multitaskers

 

America's 67 million baby boomers once commanded advertisers' attention because of their spending power and sheer number. But the prized demographic is now the millennial generation: the 98 million people ages 7 to 29. These digital natives represent nearly one-third of the U.S. population, and they're proving an elusive target for networks and advertisers to reach.

 

Read more: TV networks try to connect with young, tech-savvy multitaskers

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6/6/2012

Don't Expect Kids' Networks to Follow Disney on Food Ads

 

For now, the Better Business Bureau's Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, or CFBAI is still guidelines for voluntary compliance. Do not assume they will remain voluntary! Familiarity with CFBAI is essential for avoiding missteps in children’s advertising and marketing.

 

Read more: Don't Expect Kids' Networks to Follow Disney on Food Ads

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5/2/2012

Digital Gaming in Classrooms Seen Gaining Popularity

 

A survey on game use in K-8 classrooms was done by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit research organization that studies children’s learning through digital media.

 

In the survey, a game was defined as any interactive digital activity, including simulations, in which students participated using any of a variety of devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, game consoles, and mobile devices.

 

The survey, a random sample of 505 teachers of those grades across the country, revealed the following:

  • almost all the teachers surveyed who said they used games reported that they used ones specifically designed for education
  • games most often corresponded with literacy and reading (50 percent)
  • the biggest barrier to game use in classrooms: cost (50 percent)

 

Read more: Digital Gaming in Classrooms Seen Gaining Popularity

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5/2/2012

Can Your Preschooler Learn Anything From an iPad App?

 

According to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, 72 percent of iTunes’ top-selling “education” apps are designed for preschoolers and elementary school children.

 

Research from Georgetown University, published in 2010, can give us a hint of whether interactive screen time has any potential for teaching children as young as 2½ years old.

  • Child development specialists say young children learn best when they are fully engaged and imbued with a feeling of control. They encourage parents to seek out more open-ended games and toys in which children could explore and create at their own pace.
  • A recent Australian study showed that only 2 percent of “education” apps in the iTunes Store allow for open-ended discovery and exploration.
  • Interacting with the content—not about the buttons but the CONTENT—improves their ability to learn from the screen.
  • Just because something is interactive does not mean it is the perfect learning tool, even among children over 24 months old.
  • Some e-book studies at labs at Temple University and the University of California at Riverside—as well as a forthcoming report from the Cooney Center—show that the wow factor of the device and the presence of interactive “hotspots” on e-book pages may interfere with children’s learning.

Read more: Can Your Preschooler Learn Anything From an iPad App?

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5/1/2012

Key findings from the State of Online Gaming Among Tween Girls in the US report:

  • Tween girls have significantly increased the amount of time they devote to online gaming (desktop and mobile) per month
  • Sharing content and being social in an interactive environment to be extremely important
  • iOS devices are their platforms of choice for accessing online games via mobile
  • Android is catching up, with 46% of their mobile sessions currently being accessed by an Android device.
  • Tween girls enjoy creating avatars and dress-up outfits
  • Cooking, dress up and tests/quizzes were also the top three gaming categories

Read more: State of Online Gaming Among Tween Girls in the US

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4/10/2012

Why Parents Must Become Their Child's First Teacher...

Study Points to Drop in Per-Pupil Spending for Pre-K

 

Report shows a decline in per pupil spending came even as the total amount of state dollars spent on preschool education seemed to be on the upswing, rising from $2.4 billion in 2001-2002 to $5.5 billion in 2010-11. Some other findings of the report:

  • Expanding enrollment ~ funding hasn’t kept pace
  • Eroding support for quality education standards
  • Several states eliminated regular site visits to monitor quality
  • Arizona ended its state preschool program entirely in 2010-11
  • Arizona and 10 other states do not offer any state-funded preschool services
  • Most children enrolled in state pre-K in 2010-11 attend programs where teachers are not required to have bachelor’s degrees
  • Teachers’ assistants only need high school diplomas

Read more: Study Points to Drop in Per-Pupil Spending for Pre-K

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10/11/2011

Parents seek more mobile co-play

 

The report, Mobile Playgrounds: Kids, Family, & Mobile Play, (Oct. 2011) New York-based research and development firm PlayScience:

  • With mobile devices becoming a primary platform for household play, parents are looking for more co-play opportunities with their kids
  • Currently, parent-child co-play on these mobile devices is generally occurring through single-player games that they pass back and forth. Although they enjoy this type of competitive play, parents are reporting that they are interested in having more opportunities to play cooperatively with their kids in the future.
  • For the industry, this means redefining and expanding on current co-play opportunities and developing ways that families can play together even if they are not in the same place.
  • Also worth noting is the ongoing trend of dads playing a key role in mobile app purchases. The report has found that dads pay an average of US$0.45 more than moms for phone apps and US$0.75 more on tablet apps.

Read more: Parents seek more mobile co-play

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2010 Latitude Study

Children’s Future Requests for Computers & the Internet

 

What do 4 to 7 year olds want? The international research consultancy, Latitude, asked kids around the world: What would you like your computer or the Internet to do differently?

 

Their answers include:

  • Immersive experiences of physical spaces (e.g. real or simulated travel)
  • Devices that assisted physical activities (e.g. playing sports)
  • 3D effects
  • Technology that enables real-world actions and choices
  • Verbal/auditory control
  • Touch-screen interface

Read more. Open this PDF: Children’s Future Requests for Computers & the Internet

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Dissertation 2009

Research by H. Lindsey Russo, an assistant professor at the State University of New York New Paltz school of education and the curriculum director at Blue School, shows:

  • Preschool-age children made no distinction between work and play if they are having fun
  • They were acutely sensitive to being allowed to do things independently
  • FUN activity immediately became ‘work’ if an adult intervened

Read more: Play, peer relationships, and academic learning: Exploring the views of teachers and children

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