Nickelodeon, Amazon Sell Toys in Special Shops

Nickelodeon and Amazon have launched three Nick-themed shops dedicated to Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Shoppers will be able to download one episode of each of the series for free through Saturday.


Apple Introduces Kids Section to the App Store

Apple has introduced a new category in the App Store catering to kids. The new Kids Section in the App Store organizes apps aimed at kids into three age ranges, including kids under 5, 6-8, and 9-11.

And speaking for parents everywhere, I say a hearty THANK YOU!

The New K-12 Classroom

The recently released New Media Consortium Horizon Report details six up-and-coming technologies in the next five years for K-12 classrooms:

  1. Mobile learning – Tablets and smartphones in the classroom are no longer a matter of “if,” but “when, and how quickly?”
  2. Learning analytics – the education industry’s response to “big data” that is used in the business world for improvements and redirection of focus.  Essentially shows students what they have achieved and how those goals match up with their peers.
  3. Open content – The rise of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, in terms of college learning is having a trickle-down effect on K-12 education.  Within the next three years, expect more shared content available to teachers and to students.
  4. 3D printing – Also known as prototyping, this technology will allow K-12 students to create tangible models for their ideas.
  5. Virtual laboratories – These Web applications give students the chance to perform physical science experiments over and over, from anywhere with Internet access.
  6. Cloud computing – By using a common location, academic expectations can be better accessed, along with actual student work. Instructors can also share learning materials and experiences through the remote opportunities that cloud computing provides.

Tablettoddlers supports each and every one of these “digital disruptor” technologies in the classroom.  Watch this space for more in the coming weeks.

Sesame Street Movie and TV Spoofs Are Fantastic

Grantland nails it today with its article on the Sesame Street parodies, “Sesame Street Sneaks Pop Culture Past the Baby Gate of Parenthood.”

Some of Tablettoddlers’ favorites include Mad Men, Law & Order Special Letters Unit and Homeland.

From the piece:

“As a parent, you want to learn how to teach. You don’t know why Elmo became such a central figure in your kid’s life; he saw an animatronic Elmo doll once and became hooked immediately, then learned the difference between heavy and light from him. You followed suit by becoming enthusiastic. It was the least you could do, really, because what interests your child is inherently interesting to you, at least upon first viewing. The element that sometimes remains elusive is making those experiences accessible to anyone else. Suddenly, the things you care about feel insular in the parent zone: circles, noses, how and if to open doors.”

‘Do Not Track Kids’ Act Heats Up in Government

Legislators are expected to re-introduce a bill that would extend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) privacy features to teens, aged 13-15. The bi-partisan bill is being proposed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who said, ” Corporations like Facebook should not be profiting from the personal and sensitive information of children and teens, and parents and teens should have the right to control their personal information online.”

Read more from Mediabistro’s AppNewser.

Disney Releases “Frozen” App Before Movie

Disney has released an app for its animated film “Frozen,” enabling young readers to explore the story told in the upcoming toon before its release. The company calls such apps the “new normal,” especially as it looks to introduce potential franchises before film openings.

Tablettoddlers agrees and applauds this move.  Watch for others (we see you Dreamworks) to follow suit.